Maribel Cervantes typically isn’t at a loss for friends.
When the pastry chef needs help at a charity event or making a delivery, people are quick to bail her out.
“Until they start gaining weight,” says Cervantes, 28, who wears an ever-present smile.
She understands her dubious gift.
“Thank goodness there’s a gym across the street,” says Cervantes, who owns the 3-year-old Le Bon Gateau — translation: The Good Cake. “I’ve gained 15 pounds since I opened.”
Cervantes’ early forays into baking didn’t go so well.
“The Easy-Bake Oven and I were not friends,” she says.
She didn’t fare much better with boxed cake mixes, either. “Disaster,” she says. Still, she kept at it.
“I did it for my friends — saves on gifts,” says Cervantes, who graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in hotel and restaurant management. She attended culinary school at Pima Community College, and after working as a pastry chef for hotels and restaurants for five years decided to open her own place. She’s known for her 3-D custom cakes and has racked up awards for her creations at local events, including the Rincon Rotary Club’s “Taste of Chocolate” fundraiser.
Her display case includes an array of cupcakes — she has a roster of more than 30 flavors — like the delightfully cinnamon-y spice mocha with a coffee-spiked chocolate frosting. She makes buttery, sugar-dusted Mexican wedding cookies and mouthwatering pastries.
“Eclairs are my weakness,” she says. “Cookies I like, too. They’re so small.” She pauses. “I think I need to go to the gym more.”