• August 11, 2020

New Tech grad turns to baking to earn extra dough - Odessa American: Local News

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New Tech grad turns to baking to earn extra dough

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Posted: Friday, July 3, 2020 12:07 pm

After completing her freshman year at the University of Texas at Austin, Morena Leyva planned on getting a summer job to earn extra money for school and her apartment.

Like nearly all plans in recent months, however, Leyva had to adjust her plans due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 2019 graduate of New Tech Odessa is back home for the summer and even with the unusual circumstances, she’s found a way to generate some money for school by turning to a long-time passion: baking.

“I’ve always enjoyed baking and selling,” Leyva said. “When I was in eighth grade, I sold cookies in school to my friends and family members to help pay for a trip to New York City. The hustle was really fun.”

The hustle has picked back up, this time with a different sweet treat.

Leyva is baking cinnamon rolls and turning it into Rolls, a small delivery business that she’s gotten started within the last month. The inspiration for baking cinnamon rolls came from a poll that she sent out to family and friends.

The business has turned into a fun endeavor given what’s gone on in recent months.

“The only thing that hasn’t been uncertain is that people like to eat,” she said. “They like to have snacks. People like to crave a little sweet treat and it’s cool that I’m able to deliver.”

While Leyva bakes the tasty treats, she also has some help from others. She said her parents have helped out along with her boyfriend, Cesar Montano, who helps with the deliveries. It’s helped both of them develop a closer relationship and they feed off each other’s strengths.

“He’s a people person and I’m a little bit shy,” she said. “He’s able to reach out to sell and say hi to people when we go out and deliver.”

Leyva added that while she enjoys baking, she also wanted to help out a good cause and make a difference. June is Pride month and she has decided to donate a portion of her profits to the Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is a national organization with a hotline dedicated to crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth.

“I really love what they stand for,” said Leyva of the Trevor Project. “They’re all about educating people and helping LGBTQ youth with a hotline and text messaging system for those with mental health issues.”

Leyva says that she usually delivers Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. but could go longer depending on the number of orders. The best way to order the cinnamon rolls is by text at 432-530-6812.

She doesn’t have a set goal of what she wants to raise but hopes that she can sell as much as she can before August, whether she returns to Austin or stays in the Permian Basin for online classes.

If she returns to Austin, there’s a chance that this project can keep going beyond the summer.

“I had some friends from college encouraging me to sell when we go back to school,” she said. “I might figure out how to do that in Austin as well. We’ll see what happens.”

Odessa, TX

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