Interview with Michelle Araneta owner of Babinka Treats:

Babinka Treats launched in November 2015. “Babinka” is a nickname that was given to Michelle, which was also her username for social media. The correct spelling is “Bibingka” which is a pineapple and coconut Filipino cake. Michelle first started making edibles in Texas but just for herself and friends on special occasions. Then it turned into taking special orders and selling edibles on campus for extra money while she was in college. After college she worked as a social worker for 4 years but felt the job was depressing, she wasn’t happy and hated someone telling her what to do. Not only that, she just felt like there was no growth for her in San Antonio, so she gave her 2 weeks notice, packed her shit up and split for LA. 3 years later, she is still there.
Cannabis Chef Series | Chef Michelle Araneta, Babinka Treats

Cannabis Chef Series | Chef Michelle Araneta, Babinka Treats

Why did you decide to get into the edibles business?

I first started making edibles just for myself and friends for parties and special occasions. Soon it turned into taking special orders and selling them on campus for extra cash while I was in college. After college I was a social worker for 4 years but I felt the job was making me depressed. I didn’t want to be told what to do, I just wasn’t happy so I took off to LA and the rest is history.

 

Where does your inspiration come from?

The inspiration comes when I blaze but I do have a couple of donuts that were inspired by California donut in Ktown.

 

I understand that you are self taught. How important do you feel formal training is?

I don’t think formal training is that important. You can totally teach yourself by practicing or researching on YouTube. Formal training could just speed up the process of learning how to do things properly.

Vegan Mini Donuts by Cannabis Chef Michelle Araneta

Vegan Mini Donuts by Cannabis Chef Michelle Araneta

Is there a pastry chef/baker you admire the most, who & why?

I really admire a woman named Bree, she owns Bree’s Cakes. She’s a self-taught baker who started off in her mom’s kitchen. 8 years later she owns her own bakery and she’s almost every celebrities’ go-to bakery in LA.

What are some of the essential ingredients that you couldn’t live without?

I could not live without vanilla extract! The kind I use is a secret though.

What are some of the challenges you have experienced in this industry?

One of the biggest challenges is being a woman. A lot of men think women can’t run their own business without having some sort of help from a man.  I’ve been low keyed, disrespected and dismissed before.

What are your goals for the next 2 years with this business?

My goals are to be fully licensed under a company to manufacture and distribute to dispensaries and I’ll just handle custom orders and private events.
1000 mg Galaxy Chocolate & Fresh Strawberries Cake & Blueberry Donuts by Cannabis Chef Michelle Araneta

1000 mg Galaxy Chocolate & Fresh Strawberries Cake & Blueberry Donuts by Cannabis Chef Michelle Araneta

Do you have any advice or tips for others who are looking to start their own edibles company?

My advice is to keep your ideas to yourself. Be creative and don’t worry about the “copy cats” because they don’t have YOUR creativity. Always be humble, there’s always someone more knowledgeable than you.

 

Follow her journey on Instagram @babinkatreats

Author: My Edibles Chef

MyEdiblesChef.com is your online source for finding and learning about cannabis-infused recipes, connecting with an online community of cannabis-infused food lovers, and learning about professional cannabis chefs around the world.

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