Misha Kuryla-Gomez, Founder, Misha’s Cupcakes
Perfect for the day after Mother’s Day, we’re getting to know Miami’s Queen of Cupcakes, Misha Kuryla-Gomez. Misha could be considered Miami’s ultimate “mom-preneur.” Misha, whose parents are from Mexico and Peru, was born and raised in Miami and graduated from Coral Gables Senior High. After college at UPenn and grad school at UM, she traveled abroad to Florence, Italy, where she honed her marketing and customer service skills, but more importantly began to discover her love for baking when she would make American desserts for her friends. However, it was not until after the birth of her first child in 2005 that she found her true calling for baking. As Misha was wrapping up her maternity leave, she heard about Sprinkles cupcake bakery, and thought, “I can do that!” So, she started baking – and hasn’t stopped!
Misha and her husband, Misha’s Cupcakes CFO Gardo Gomez, currently own five stores in South Florida, and sell their products in over a dozen other retailers. They have also added more than just cupcakes to their repertoire, which now includes cake-in-a-jar (which can be shipped nationally), cakes, brownies, cookies and other sweet treats. Misha and her company have received a number of accolades, including the 2011 Business Woman of the Year Award from the City of Coral Gables; the 2008 and 2014 Best Cupcakes Award by the Miami New Times; and the 2015 Top Entrepreneurial Award from the Miami Chamber of Commerce.
You’re a Miami native, what was your favorite part of growing up in Miami?
The weather from October through April and the amazing and multi-cultural food.
If you had to describe Misha’s Cupcakes in 3 words, what would they be?
Delicious. Happy. Sweet.
What’s your favorite thing about living in Miami?
The food and the excellent drivers.
What are some of your favorite foodie activities to do in Miami?
I love trying out all new restaurants, and also I love going to the hole-in-the-wall restaurants that serve amazing food. We have some staples we always go to like Salmon Salmon, Sugarcane, Whisk, Matsuri and Eating House. Places I wish I could go to everyday are Cayo Taco, Panther Coffee (my fav) in the Grove, Miami Smokers, Fireman Derek’s Pies, Shake Shack, and Mojo Donuts.
If you had to pick one cupcake flavor to describe you, which would it be and why?
Red velvet for my hair.
What’s the most innovative cupcake flavor you’ve ever come up with?
I made an amazing white chocolate raspberry cupcake that blew my mind! It’s not innovative by made, but it was because of the way I made it and the flavor it had.
What inspires your baking creativity?
An empty kitchen and a good night’s sleep.
You started with a small mall kiosk and now manage 5 different stores. To what do you ascribe your growth and success?
Great ingredients, good customer service, amazing employees, and lots of hard work.
What’s the craziest order you’ve ever received?
This could be embarrassing so I will stick with the most illegal order…! I once had a customer, when I first started, give me pot butter to make happy cupcakes. They smelled rather nice!
You’ve been described as Miami’s ultimate ‘mompreneur.’ How do you balance being a mom and being a businesswoman?
Sometimes badly! It’s been a work in progress… For close to 7 years of my daughter’s life I did not take her to or pick her up from school. This last year I have made major changes to my schedule so that I can spend more time with all three of my kids. Now, I take and pick up my daughter every day. Other than the difficulty in balancing being a mom, wife, friend, and business owner, I think being identified as a mompreneur is cool – but really I am a mom first now and an entrepreneur.
Tell us about your recently-launched Misha’s Cupcakes App…
We wanted to be current in all the technological advances that are going on, and felt the app was a good way to give “loyalty” rewards to our customers, as well as provide a non-wallet way to pay.
What’s next for Misha’s Cupcakes?
Next is our 6th store in Davie. In 2016 we plan to open two more stores. On a personal career level, I plan to enjoy creating some exciting new flavors!
Mitch & Mel