Laid off during pandemic, Acworth woman fulfills baking passion through starting her own business

photos of elaborately decorated baked goods, one with intricated icing rosesBaked goods from Sugar Rush (photos courtesy of Veronica Castro)

By Arielle Robinson

Veronica Castro, an Acworth resident for six years, worked as an insurance agent.

When the pandemic started last year, she was forced to decide between giving her best at work and at home with her children. Her job required her to work in person while her kids’ education had transitioned to virtual learning, requiring her to now also assist her kids while they were online learning.

Through what she described as a mutual agreement, Castro parted ways with her job in March 2020.

Then jobless, Castro figured that she needed to find work. Castro described herself as someone who has “always been a crafty person.” She watched online tutorials to help develop her baking and crafting skills.

“I was like, I’m not going to stay home jobless and not do anything, I want to do something that I know how to do,” Castro said. “And I usually [bake] for my kids’ birthday parties and for my close friends and family. That’s how Sugar Rush was born.”

Castro launched her new business, Sugar Rush ATL, on social media around Mother’s Day last year. She said her business has seen much growth and positive feedback from customers since she started it.

Sugar Rush ATL is an online business. It specializes in sweet treats such as chocolate-covered strawberries, Oreos and pretzels, signature gifts, arrangements and does dessert catering.

Castro presents her treats in intricately designed fashions, like the pink and white chocolate-covered strawberry tower, decorated with real roses. Dessert designs can be colorful or adorned with stripes, sprinkles and decorations relevant to the occasion the customer orders the treats for. The boxes the desserts come in are often topped off with a ribbon tied into a bow.

The businesswoman and baker says that her children inspired her to start her own business.

“Kids love sweets and that’s how I started,” Castro said. “It was my kids, they took me out of my comfort zone and I want to experience doing things for them.”

Castro, who is originally from Ecuador, also expressed incredible gratitude towards the Latin American Association, which helped her gain entrepreneurial skills.

The Latin American Association is a nonprofit organization that offers direct services to Latino people that can help them navigate society.

Castro said that she took an eight-week course through the LAA aimed at women entrepreneurs. She said she learned about branding and how to put together a business plan.

“The Latin American Association has been amazing to me because not only did they teach me about a business plan … they gave me the tools,” Castro said. “When I started this little business that I have right now I was able to apply those tools that I learned from them.”

Castro said that whenever she has reached out to the LAA, they have always been there to support her work.

“It’s incredible, the help I receive from them,” Castro said.

The businesswoman also said that she is “very proud” to be Latino in the United States and to be able to contribute to the economy.

“The Latin community in Georgia is growing and a lot of Latino businesses are growing as well,” Castro said. “And with that, I’m very happy and I’m very proud that we are contributing in a very positive way to the economy of the state, of the county that we live in and the city that we live in.”

Additionally, Castro said, “that’s also a big plus for me, that as a woman, as a Latino woman, [through] owning my own businesses, I can provide for my family, for my kids in a better way.”

Currently, Sugar Rush ATL is preparing for the upcoming holiday season, which means the business will be knee-deep in work.

Castro’s long-term goal is to open another business.

Sugar Rush ATL customers can message the business on Instagram or Facebook to order a dessert they would like. Sugar Rush ATL does deliveries as well.