19825 N. Cove Rd.
Cornelius, NC 28031
Maria’s career as a pastry chef was a dream delayed at the very least. She learned to bake as a child under her mother’s watchful eye. However, she would spend the next 20+ years working as an IT Consultant. It was somewhere between 2006/2007, when everything changed and the IT career lost its luster. She left the security of State Farm insurance and forged out on a path to The French Pastry School in Chicago, IL. She commuted on Amtrak 5-6 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 6 months to graduate from the prestigious school with her certificate of L’Art de la Patisserie (The Professional Baking and Pastry Program) in hand. She used the 224 Amtrak trips to write her business plan and prepare for opening a storefront bakery.
She opened her first brick and mortar bakery in Normal, IL in August 2008. In May 2010 her mother suffered a severe stroke that relegated her to nursing home care for the remainder of her life. Maria made the decision to close the bakery in July 2010 in order to fully stand by her mother’s side. Once her mother’s condition settled into a new norm, Maria rebranded and opened Beyond Decadence in August 2014. Beyond Decadence would be a mobile/pop-up bakery. With no storefront of her own, she formed numerous strategic partnerships with local businesses to host collaborative events and became a 2 1/2 year regular vendor at the local Farmers’ Market. All the while, Maria kept her promise to lovingly watch over and advocate for her mother until her final breath – 6 years, 7 months, and 1 day after the initial stroke. Her mother graduated to bask in the presence of Jesus on Maria’s 9th year anniversary of graduating pastry school. God gave Maria the final release to leave Illinois when her longtime home of 14 years sold in 9 days! On Father’s Day 2017, she drove 13+ hours to North Carolina and made Huntersville her new home. She hit the LKN area on fire and on a mission! She opened her mobile/pop-up bakery on July 31, 2017, and has yet to slow down. Maria is single, strong in her relationship with God, enjoys Pilates, strength training, quiet time at home, wine, chocolate, making new friends, and road trips with only iPhone’s maps as her guide. Her daughter, Devin (31) and grand-pup, Fluffy (3) live nearby in Georgia.