Freshman Opens SweetsByNina

High School Student Tackles The Challenge Of Creating Her Own Business


Freshman Sabrina Cruz decided to buy business cards as a way to invest in her own business. Credit: Freshman Sabrina Cruz

Kate Stout, Writer

Freshman Sabrina Cruz has always had a love for desserts, but recently she took it one step further and started her small business and dessert shop SweetsByNina to share her desserts with others.  


Cruz created SweetsByNina just after Christmas of 2020.  She shared that she had always wanted to do something baking related, so when she saw a post on social media that inspired her, she was ready to begin.  

“I came up with (the) idea to open up a small business when I saw on my Instagram explore page a picture of decorated strawberries,” Cruz explained. “I thought it was super cool and was something that I could do since I’ve always wanted to be something similar to a baker when I was younger!”  

Cruz did not waste any time when trying to start her business, and within a few weeks, she started creating her website and Instagram page.  Soon enough, she was excited to receive her first order and watch new ones come in.  

“I practiced for about two weeks straight until I was happy with how my treats looked and tasted. Then, I went out and bought lots of supplies and made an Instagram page and website,” Cruz shared. “One big moment was when I gained the courage to promote my business out to the public and get orders. I was and still am grateful.” 

During its early days, SweetsByNina made only a few basic products, but in the last several months Cruz began to expand the desserts that she sells by investing in new molds to create new products.   

“I sell chocolate covered strawberries, breakable hearts, strawberry cheesecake cups, berry cups, cakescicles, and hot cocoa bombs,” Cruz said. “I first started with only chocolate covered (strawberries) and hot cocoa bombs.”   

Cruz designs her own logo for SweetsByNina. Credit: Freshman Sabrina Cruz

Struggles and Successes 

Owning a small business is a very rewarding but often difficult experience.  For Cruz, the journey to SweetsByNina was made easier by the knowledge that she had a strong support system behind her. She credited her mother for helping her to start.  

“My mom helped me buy all the things to start off such as molds and chocolate,” Cruz said. “They also helped share my posts on my Instagram page which made me feel so happy and lucky that I could have such an amazing support system.”  

Her friends and family’s support is something she is grateful for, but Cruz explained that she still feels pressure as a small business owner to meet the expectations of those around her.  

“I do feel pressure in making sure to get orders. Lots of people are rooting for me and I’d hate to disappoint them.  I put a lot of my time and money into my work,” Cruz shared. “I only feel extremely worn-out during holidays because that’s when I get the most orders.” 

Additionally, it is impossible to avoid pressure from the internet, especially when it comes from people with severe misconceptions on what being a small business owner entail. Cruz shared how TikTok users’ mockery of small dessert shop owners offended her.   

“People always think that doing this is easy. I’ve seen people on TikTok making fun of those who make chocolate covered strawberries and say that they don’t have talent,” Cruz said. “It pained me to see that because of how hard we work. We put our sweat and tears into making our dream business. It is not easy to make creations like ours. It takes up a lot of our time and money to do what we love to do.” 

Nonetheless, Cruz feels that she has managed to find a balance between her life and her business.  As a highschool student as well, this is far from an easy task.  Cruz revealed some of the techniques she uses to stay on top of her orders.  

“I am a very organized person, so I have certain places for everything in the comfort of my own home,” Cruz said. “When I have multiple orders in one day, my sister sometimes helps with the packing and decorating of the orders.”  

Cruz remains proud and happy of what she has created, even if the work is not easy in the slightest.  Her business has grown and developed significantly since its conception, and it shows no signs of slowing down.  

“When I look back at it, I am really proud of myself. I have been told before that I would never be able to do something like this, and I’m proud to say that I did,” Cruz said.   

The Future 

While Cruz is happy to see where life takes her and her business, she still has a few things she would like to add to SweetsByNina.  She is particularly interested in finding new ways to improve upon her existing products. 

“I hope to add more things to the menu that my customers would enjoy,” Cruz said. “I’m currently experimenting with making Oreo Rice Krispie Treats and offering different add-ons for my Cheesecake Cups such as Vanilla Wafers, Oreos, and much more.”  

However, Cruz’s ultimate dream for SweetsByNina exists on a much larger scale.  Her goal for her business is to open an actual store to sell her desserts.  Within the next several years, she would like to see SweetsByNina gain attention from local newspapers and become official.  

“It’s my dream to open up a bakery and sell cakes, chocolate covered treats, and basically everything relating to dessert,” Cruz explained. “Ever since I was little, I’ve always loved to bake and cook. My mom and I would make desserts for our family and love to see when people genuinely enjoyed them. It brought me happiness to see people enjoying something I created.” 

Cruz also had a message for her customers to thank them for their support for her passion and her business.  She also explained some ways that students can support her business even without buying from her business.  

“I would like to say to my customers thank you so much for trusting me to complete your order. It means the world to me knowing that someone loves my work,” Cruz shared. “I am extremely grateful for each and every one of you.  Students can support me by following my Instagram page and sharing what I post! I would appreciate it so much.” 

 To find out more about SweetsByNina’s, her contact information is: 


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