‘Sweets’ dreams are made of these | Hawaii Jobs

‘Sweets’ dreams are made of these

Sticky Sweets owner Leanne Badua topping off the cupcakes with frosting.

By Caroline Wright

A local girl from Ewa Beach, Leanne Badua always dreamed of owning her own business, being her own boss and doing exactly what she wanted to do.

She knew she enjoyed creating delicious baked goods, and through jobs as a pastry cook at the Sheraton Waikiki and Four Seasons Resort, she became intimately familiar with a trade she came to love.

But Badua needed a little sweet encouragement from somebody close to her heart before she was ready to make the leap. “My husband, Joshua, knows how passionate I am about baked goods,” she said. “He found this marketplace and thought we would take a gamble in life and open a storefront.”

An assortment of toppings being applied to the cupcakes.

Dressed to the nines in vibrant, fun decor — plenty of bright pink, teal, and colorful “sprinkles” adorn its walls — Sticky Sweets opened its doors in August at the Ohana Hale Marketplace on Ward Avenue. Located in the old Sports Authority, Ohana Hale, with more than 200 local vendors, is Hawaii’s largest indoor marketplace, and a terrific testing ground for a start-up bakery like Sticky Sweets.

With a truly toothsome assortment of cupcakes, cookies, custard tarts, bread pudding and more, many featuring island flavors in delightful combinations, Sticky Sweets has emerged as a crowd favorite at Ohana Hale. The bakery’s menu changes frequently. “With a vast collection of ideas, I cannot quite stick to a flavor profile week by week,” Badua confessed with a chuckle. “I like to re-create flavors and put a twist on them. I like to think outside the box!”

With an admirable passion for all things sweet and a knack for taking creativity to the next level, Badua seeks to build a team with the same enthusiasm.

Ube and Pandan custard Tarts.

The talented baker projects to start hiring employees within the next few months, as the business settles in with its surroundings and operations. She will be needing help in the front and back of the house, and so a passion for baking and enjoying sweet creations is a sure plus. As a store front, Badua mentioned that those with a positive, welcoming attitude and who are eager to help customers are important aspects she will be looking for in potential candidates.

While the environment is a fun and exciting place, the new business owner also doesn’t sugar coat everything. She desires hardworking staff who are not afraid to get their hands dirty and who can perform well under pressure.

Just as many establishments, some days, Badua said, can be intense. “It all depends on how much production we need to get done. It can be emotional, fun, overwhelming, relaxing — sometimes all in one day or night!”

Badua also has plans in the works for benefits that include holiday pay, discounts and medical insurance.

Cookies and bread pudding.

In addition to a workplace presence, Badua aims to take her and her staff’s work to a community level.

“We do church retreats on the weekend with Chef Art DeGuzman from 3 Star Gourmet II.” And in a gracious civic-minded gesture, Sticky Sweets offered a 10-percent discount to voters on Election Day. She further hopes the bakery can do outreach with homeless shelters in the near future.

In the meantime, her husband continues to support her business whenever he can. “He is definitely coming along,” Badua said. “This isn’t his forte, (but) I am very proud of him!”

So far this business venture has been an amazing learning experience for the Baduas, and to them, the rewards are simply delicious.

Contact Patrick Klein at pklein@staradvertiser.com if you desire to have your company featured in this section.


THE 411

COMPANY: Sticky Sweets LLC

LOCATION: Ohana Hale Marketplace 333 Ward Ave., Honolulu

OWNER: Leanne Badua

WEB: Sticky_Sw33ts on Facebook and Instagram.

NOTEWORTHY: The bakery has recently begun participating in the HMSA farmers market at Keeaumoku and Rycroft streets, held each Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.