Photo courtesy of Hungry Dre’s Kitchen.
From a young age, Andrea Angelos has loved sweets, but it wasn’t until the pandemic that she turned her passion into a business and began to explore the art of baking. It’s been three years since she followed her passion and opened up an online bake shop called Hungry Dre’s Kitchen.
“It’s been a journey I would say. It’s had a lot of ups and downs,” said Angelos, who is a self-taught baker and business owner.
Before perfecting the treats you see on her website, Angelos goes through a process of “trial and error” to ensure her customers will love her final product.
On her site, you can find brownies, empanadas, mini bundt cakes, mini pies and cookies – which are her best sellers – for sale. At local community events, like the one she participated in earlier this month in Union City and Jersey City, you can sometimes find Angelos selling other special treats like conchas, a Mexican sweet bread.
Selling at events has become one of Angelos’ favorite ways to connect with people.
“It’s kind of a tight knit community. The majority of us are Hispanics and I love to be able to share with my community,” said Angelos, who is half Palestinian and half Salvadoran.
“I love to not only bring them typical American desserts like cookies, but even for the abuelitas (grandmas) to be able to bring them conchas, to be able to bring them empanadas de platanos (sweet plantain empanadas) I love to have that feedback from them and bring them a little bit of comfort food.”
Having the community support her business has been very encouraging especially because she finds that food helps her connect with her culture. She has also enjoyed collaborating with other local vendors and artists and building a community with them.
“Community building is very important to me. I lived in places all over Hudson County. I’ve lived in North Bergen, Jersey City, Union City and I don’t think that there’s anywhere where the community feeling is as strong as in WNY, except maybe Union City,” she said. “We have that sense of unity. Everyone knows everybody, especially in the small business world with the creatives. Everyone wants to help each other out.”