How to turn a favorite hobby into a profitable business?
For Mya Steinhauer, it all started with the sweet tooth of a coffee group.
A few years ago, a senior member of the Blue Earth Area was asked to provide cookies for a coffee crew that met regularly at Julie’s Bar and Grill in Frost.
The coffee crew expected Steinhauer to make a standard cookie—maybe a monster cookie or a sugar cookie. However, Steinhauer decided to go all-in on her first cookie commission, and she brought exquisitely decorated cookies to Julie’s Bar and Grill throughout December.
“I loved seeing how much they loved (the cookies)” Steinhauer says that at the end of the month, the coffee staff reminds him to write a thank-you card. “Food is my favorite thing and I love making it for people.”
After Steinhauer discovered her calling, Steinhauer’s Frost-based baking business, Sweets By Mya, was born.
Until then, Steinhauer had cooked primarily for his family — his parents, Dan and Danielle Steinhauer, and his brother, Mason. He really began to test the limits of what he could do during the long, busy days of the COVID quarantine.
Now, Steinhauer still bakes in her family’s kitchen, but she does so as an established business owner and operator.
Sweets By Mya has already gained a lot of traffic from community members looking for sweet treats. Steinhauer says she gets asked to make birthday cakes and cupcakes two or three times a month, and she also produces large, holiday-themed bakeries during the most festive times of the year.
Last Thanksgiving, Steinhauer hit a home run with a pumpkin-themed bake that received rave reviews from customers who sampled bites of the famous pumpkin pie.
Steinhauer also developed a cupcake sampler that offers five delicious cupcakes in a box.
On some holidays, Steinhauer teams up with her mentor and employer, Lacey Hassing of Lacey’s Catering, instead of making more of her own confections. Lately, Steinhauer has been helping Hassing with the biggest holiday rushes around Christmas and Valentine’s Day.
In turn, Hassing lends a helping hand with pricing advice and lends Steinhauer kitchen space when Sweets by Myan’s commissions outgrow the Steinhauer family’s kitchen.
So far, Steinhauer’s most demanding project has been a wedding.
“I’ll definitely have to use Lacey’s kitchen for that” she laughs.
In Hassing’s kitchen, Steinhauer made 500 cupcakes and a wedding cake.
“It was really fun”Steinhauer says. “I also helped organize the wedding and people came up to me and said how much they loved the cupcakes.”
Steinhauer believes her cupcakes are one of her most popular products, though her Thanksgiving pumpkin pie bites are also in high demand.
With an eye to the future, Steinhauer recently added to its arsenal of decorating techniques. It uses the intricate piping required for cake decorating and the trendy “flood icing” technique for sugar cookies.
Her goals for Sweets by Mya also include expanding marketing efforts and hopefully keeping it a profitable business for years to come.
However, Steinhauer’s plans for the future go beyond baking. Next year, she intends to study dietetics at Iowa State University. Studying diet and food science—interested in both food and health—was a draw for Steinhauer.
He will certainly continue to cook on the side.
“It’s a fun way to be creative and a fun way to make money”Steinhauer explains. “It’s definitely my creative outlet.”
Steinhauer is taking orders on her Facebook page @Sweets By Mya and can also be reached at 507-525-8762.