We had the good fortune of connecting with Kenlys Otten and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kenlys, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have worked and managed for a broad range of different types of companies owned by others, and suddenly one day I got into the point that I need a change and that I should totally start my own business.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have a degree in Interior Design and Architectural drafting, and yet my passion has remained in the kitchen all the time, in which I have cultivated to be an amazing cook… “Is the only place where I can be myself, and where I have no doubts, it just flows naturally through my veins, my NIRVANA! “
I mainly self-taught all my pastry and baking knowledge at the very early stage of my life, by reading recipe books and practicing along with ingredients. I baked and sold tons of cakes to friends and neighbors back in Venezuela when I was just a teenager. Later, I enrolled in some pastry courses and gathered better techniques. At that time, I started feeling more confident about decorating wedding cakes using fondant. I worked at restaurants and learned a little bit of the craziness inside a commercial kitchen, I did not enjoy that side. In 2010, I really wanted to perfect my skills or go beyond my comfort zone, as a Cake artist, and that is when I enrolled in the Baking and Pastry Program at the Art Institute of Colorado. My vision has always been in having a business where I can offer a fusion of all the different sweet flavors around the world, including my own birth Country Venezuela, and that’s how Cake Sugar World emerged. We are an online bakery, our focus is on custom orders and catering services, we use only organic ingredients and fresh products, we offer gluten-free and plant based options as well.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
OMG!! I love Colorado and mostly Denver, this is my soul town. There is so much to see and eat here, I would not have enough days, maybe a week is not that much LOL.
I love Union Station and the restaurants there are all great!
the LoDo area was one of my favorite places too, but I like and enjoy the highlands on 16th street, little man ice cream is an emblematic ice cream place in fact I worked there in 2009, also there is Avanti which is a great place to grab a bite, my favorite is Quiero Arepas, other places to eat: I will mostly go to places close to where I live : Jing Denver at Landmark, Shanahan’s steakhouse, to be honest I am a big fan of Japanese cuisine so if there is a good Japanese restaurant I will stick with that one forever, I love Menya located in Greenwood Village.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Wow, this is actually a good question; I think I deserve my encouragement from my dad. He passed away last year and after his death, something inside me changed. My dad was a hard worker, and always told me that we should never depend on others (financially) , that we should find a way to achieve our goals, yes to work hard but mostly to have self-discipline and commitment to whatever we are doing. When he died the first thing that hit me was that I was unemployed at home taking care of my daughter Valentina in the middle of the pandemic, at that time she was two years old, and daycare closed due to covid-19… I needed to start working on something that would allow me to be at home with my daughter and at the same time making some income… That something was baking and making cakes, so I put my interior design career aside and decided to launch into this new adventure called Cake Sugar World. I totally believe it was my dad who guided me to do this, so I want to give a big shoutout to him in heaven.
Photos by Kenlys H. Otten