Cua’s Keki

An inside look to the life of an East side entrepreneur.

Fabiana Centeno, Editor in Chief

“It almost melts in your mouth, it’s soft and creamy it’s amazing,” sophomore Lexi Boriboun said. What is this that Boriboun is describing? It’s her favorite dessert from Cua’s Keki. Cua Vang is a junior at East High School that has her own business selling desserts, ranging from cookies to her most favorable dessert cake pops.  

Vang has always been interested in baking with her siblings ever since she was little. She enjoyed her time baking with her sister, and it inspired her to start baking on her free time. “Baking was, is, and always will be a hobby of mine that I see as an art and as a way of expression,” Vang said.  

Vang began her business around March of 2018 for her sister’s baby shower. Many people at that party started asking her to make desserts for their events. She started to learn techniques and started only making cakes for close family and then gradually making cakes for friends. She began working hard on making orders and then after spring break of 2019 and she decided to take a break from baking. Eventually she realized how much she missed it and from then on, she started making cake pops. After some time, she started to bake more kinds of desserts.  

“Now I try to make at least new things every week and sell those, and so far, it’s going great and I’m expanding my audience so quickly,” Vang said.  

Her business name is translated to Cua’s cakes since Keki means cake in Japanese. She chose that name because her goal with the money she earns is to take a trip to Japan. Vang makes cakes, cake pops, meringue cookies, cupcakes, donuts and any customers’ requests. Vang’s favorite dessert to make so far is a Korean fruit cake with sponge cake and whipped cream.  

“She’s truly making these desserts on her time while balancing high school and other activities and at such a young age she’s really putting her heart and soul into her desserts from baking them to even packaging them,” Alumni  Naudya Chhuon said. 

With Vang taking classes at Central and one A.P. class at East, people often wonder how she balances her schoolwork and making orders for customers. Her secret is that she’s always been a good student and values her education. She mostly bakes on the weekends and sometimes even stay up until 1a.m. on Sunday nights to finish desserts. 

I do it for the joy. The best is always the look on peoples faces when the receive their dessert. It makes me all gushy inside. ”

— Vang

Vang never thought that her business would be as successful as it is today. She never was really that interested in it being an actual business. However, she saw how many of her friends and even strangers, showed support in her talent and wanted her to eventually grow and expand.  

“I feel like if someone is doing something passionate, you should be there to support it with your whole heart but not even that Cua’s desserts are amazing. There is always so much love and effort that goes into every single dessert she does,” Chhuon said.  

Ever since Vang started her business, Vang has found her true calling and discovered her love for baking.  

“It made me realize who supports me and how significant I can feel in people’s everyday lives. The thing with me is I never focus on the money because once I do, I lose the feeling of passion and baking for other people’s happiness therefore it makes me happy,” Vang said.  

Cua’s Keki is considered a local business. Buying local is very essential for communities. Buying local impacts the economy by helping to create more jobs, improve roads, develop parks, help schools, grow businesses and improve the communities. Local businesses are also owned by local people that live in those communities and more invested and wellbeing of that community and future. They’re also more accountable and donate more of their money to nonprofits. Also, by supporting local businesses, it’s helping the environment due to the fact that they have a smaller carbon footprint than larger companies.  

“It’s helping your communities rise and letting people from your own communities make names for themselves and expand,” Chhuon said.  

Vang has been a vendor at the downtown farmers market for her family’s business with the past eight years. She says that it has really helped her to see how important it is to support local businesses.  

“People spend all their time and effort into their craft and of course, as small businesses, do not make as much money as big brands. I also believe that though it may be a bit more expensive the quality, time and effort being put into the product is much more important than cost,” Vang said.  

Vang will continue baking and building her business until she graduates. She’s unsure if she will continue during her college years, but she’s looking into selling at the downtown farmers market in her own booth.  

“I want to say a true genuine thank you to everyone who supports me even in the smallest ways. People don’t even need to buy from me to support me. Just simply talking about my business to friends or taking part in polls help me a lot. Everyone’s support has impacted me so much and has helped me to grow as a strong individual. Thank you to everyone for your kind words and honest opinions. I will make sure to show my thanks to everyone and loving the support you gave to me, back to you,” Vang said.