I am so excited to be featuring @bearygoodbakery from Kansas City, Missouri for March’s Cake Decorator Spotlight! It is my first time featuring a male baker and I plan to be featuring more male bakers because they also deserve all of the love! I love Alonso’s special touches to his creations. Read on to learn more how he got started with baking in a new country.
Can you share a bit about yourself?
My name is Alonso Navarro. I am a 29-year-old baker currently living in Kansas City, Missouri. I was born and raised in Lima, Peru, where I received my education in Hospitality Management. I have lived in different cities in the last 5 years, trying to discover myself. I’ve always loved traveling and having new adventures. I moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 2016 by myself after I graduated from college. It was very hard at the beginning, settling down in a new country, new culture, making new friends, and trying to fit in, but somehow I managed to get through it. I have other passions in my life as well. One of them is soccer. When I was a child, I used to tell my parents I wanted to be a professional soccer player. Also, I love helping others. For most of my life, I have been volunteering for different organizations.
How did you get started with making cakes?
I started baking to find some relief for my anxiety. I found out that baking was more than a “fun activity” for me but more therapeutic. When I was in the middle of an anxiety attack, I walked into my kitchen and started grabbing every ingredient that I saw. I started throwing them into a bowl and mixing them up. My mind was so preoccupied with what I was trying to make that it helped me forget about everything else, and my anxiety subsided.
Personally, baking is also a very helpful way to express my feelings since I am not very good at expressing myself. It’s a way for me to express my feelings as a thank you, appreciation, or sympathy through baked goods.
What are your favorite cake tools?
Definitely, there are some cake tools I can’t miss having while making a cake. For example, a turntable is a must. I don’t think I could live without it. The metal combs with different designs, especially the ones to create stripes are one of my favorites as well—spatula, pastry bags, piping tips, food coloring, etc. The list could keep going for me. I feel like I spent most of my money on baking supplies.
What is your biggest accomplishment to date?
One of my first goals was to finish college. Also, moving to another country and starting Beary Good Bakery. But most importantly, I learned how to manage my anxiety. I think I have been getting much better in the past couple of years, and I am pleased with that.
What are your challenges with running a business?
One of the biggest challenges in running Beary Good Bakery for me its been time management. Some of you may not know, but Beary Good Bakery it’s not my full-time job. Currently, I work for two retail stores as a baker and cake decorator. It’s been a little hard to keep up with everything and sometimes I do feel overwhelmed. Self-care is very important, physically and mentally.
Where do you find your inspiration from?
I do find my inspiration everywhere. When it comes to flavors, from tv shows. I am always watching them all the time. And when it comes to designs, on social media. I have met some incredible people through social media and they all are so talented and amazing.
What is your favorite buttercream to work with?
When I started baking the only buttercream I used to work with was American Buttercream. Don’t get me wrong. I love making it. It’s easy to make and very fast. Save me a lot of time. But I have to say my favorite buttercream is the Swiss meringue buttercream. It’s so smooth, shiny, and silky, and definitely less sweet than American buttercream. I love working with it.
What is on your next to try on your list for trying new techniques?
There are two techniques I haven’t try and that’s because I haven’t got the chance yet to do it. The first one: I really want to do a Geode cake. It’s been a trend for so long and I just can not believe I haven’t done it yet. And the second one: Spray Brush. I haven’t had the chance to put on practice my new spray brush I got for Christmas, but I am sure I will soon.
What do you like to do other than making desserts?
I love playing soccer and I love going to the gym. I try to hit the gym at least four to five days a week. All the time doesn’t have to be work. It is very important to take care of yourself and your mental health as well. And for me working out and playing soccer is the best way to do it. Also, I do love traveling a lot. Every now and then I try to have a weekend getaway just to clear out my ideas.
Can you share some advice for people who are looking to get started in the baking industry?
Baking is like magic, you could grab five ingredients and turn them into dinner. Grabbing the same combinations of ingredients and one day you could be doing cupcakes, and the next day making cookies. It’s all about creativity and having fun. A huge piece of advice I will tell everyone. Don’t get hung up on social media and never try to compare yourself or your work with others. We all are uniques and we all have different skills. Just because your post did not have many likes or you do not have lots of followers defines how good of a baker you are. Have fun doing what you love and sharing it with your loved ones.
My Favorite Creations
Buttercream Shamrock Cake
What a fun cake for St. Patrick’s Day! For more St. Patrick’s Day cake inspiration, click here.
These butterfly pink cupcakes with cakesicles are so beautiful!
Overload Chocolate Cake
This amazing chocolate cake is perfect for a chocolate lover!
Christmas Stocking Cake
Another fun cake with piped buttercream design! I love the double shells border.
Neon Rainbow Cake
One of the coolest rainbow cakes I’ve seen! For more rainbow inspiration, click here.
Pink Letter Cake
They look so good. Have you tried pistachios macarons? They are pretty delicious!
Reese Striped Cake
Everything is so perfect with this Reese cake.
Golden Oreo Striped Cake
I’m loving the peach and light blue scheme for the golden Oreo cake.
Thank U Next Cake
This is absolutely a fun twist to Thank U Next theme on a cake!
Thank you so much, Alonso, for doing this cake spotlight feature! It was a pleasure learning a little bit about you.
Make sure you follow Alonso on his Instagram for amazing creations.