Restaurant worker creates new business after getting laid off amid pandemic

A Highland Park local is one of many who lost her job due the pandemic. But she said it encouraged her to start her own business.
HIGHLAND PARK (KABC) -- According to the California Employment Development Department, from April 2019 to April 2020 there was about a 46% decrease in people working in the leisure and hospitality industry due to the pandemic.

Highland park local Genesis Aviles is no stranger to that.

"I worked at a cafe in Highland Park Amara kitchen. I was a prep cook and I was also the baker there," said Aviles.

It wasn't long into the pandemic when she was laid off and then brought back with limited hours.

"It was probably the beginning of April, where it just wasn't enough hours. And I also wasn't too comfortable going out, like I was paranoid myself," she said.

Aviles decided to leave, unsure of how she would help her husband pay rent.

"I realized I need a job, I need money. But I'm afraid to go work somewhere. So I had made cakes before for Mother's Day, Father's Day, and I would occasionally post them and people would buy them," said Aviles.

So, she started posting about her cake baking and decorating skills on social media. And almost immediately, she started getting orders.

"I was surprised at how many messages came through. And I even told my husband, I was like, it won't stop," said Aviles about the orders.

Aviles fulfills about five orders a day from home and is now making more money than she was at her old job.

"I think it just kind of pushed me to do my own thing. So, I'm glad I did it. It's kind of like a blessing in disguise, I would say," said Aviles.

You can see more of her cakes by searching Wildflower Kitchen Co. on Instagram.
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