Queneesha Meyers wakes early to get to her bakery near the University of New Mexico, while most people are still asleep.
On this day, the Albuquerque resident is putting together her orders alone – her assistant is out for the day.
Not to mention that her phone is out of order. Certainly stressful times.
“What are you going to do,” she says with a smile. “You move forward.”
This is the can-do attitude that Meyers puts forth every day simply because she loves her job.
Meyers is the mastermind behind Q’s Cakes & Sweets Boutique, 2720 Central Ave. SE, Suite D.
It’s been a labor of love for the past decade as she creates sweet confections and comfort food-inspired pies.
After working in the corporate world, Meyers says baking is a form of meditation and the process is cathartic.
“They don’t talk back,” she says with a laugh. “I’m usually here early in the morning and I put on some music and do what I need to do. That time to myself allows for so much creativity. I always like when I’m able to create something new. Some women like to shop, and I do too. But I also like to be up in the middle of the night baking and creating something new.”
It’s in those hours to herself where creativity flows.
She doesn’t limit or put boundaries.
Which is why she’s developed a line of cakes that she calls “Comfort Food Cakes,” where she takes traditional comfort foods and makes them into cake form.
There are 27 variations. A sampling of them include banana pudding, churro, biscochito, peach cobbler, key lime, lemon, blueberry.
One of her most popular cakes is the Chocolate Motherload, or as Meyers calls it the “Michael B. Jordan.”
“I love Michael B. Jordan and I just add tons of chocolate on it,” she says. “I name a lot of the cakes after friends of mine. I’ve done contests online to name new creations. I like to keep people engaged.”
The pies she sells are apple, cherry, pecan, pumpkin, sweet potato and biscochito. Most have a gluten-free option.
Meyers continues to master the intricacies of baking.
She says that each creation takes time.
“People think smaller should mean cheaper,” she says. “It actually takes more time to do small pieces.”
Baking is also a science, she says.
“I make everything from scratch and that takes time for each cake or pie. I don’t use mixes. All the ingredients are put together by myself,” she says. “I spent time educating people their understanding of baking is from TV shows. That’s not real. They have hours to do those shows. I have to wait hours for my cakes to cool in order to finish them.”
Her love for baking began when she was 11 years old, growing up in Brooklyn, New York.
“My grandmother had a bag of flour,” she says. “On the back of that flour was a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. So I took my allowance, I got the remaining ingredients, and made chocolate chip cookies for all the kids in the neighborhood. So that was the first recipe I ever made. And then I’ve been pretty much baking ever since.”
Meyers’ road to owning her own business has been a journey.
In 2009, she was doing accounting for Sara Lee and baking on the side during her weekends off.
“But I wanted it to be legitimate because I was selling the cakes at one point,” she says. “So I was just renting a commercial kitchen space.”
She left Sara Lee for Sandia National Laboratories.
In 2013, her red velvet cheesecake and cupcake bouquet were featured in a magazine.
“I was named a top five bakery without having a bakery,” she says. “And so the following year is when I opened my first storefront.”
Meyers continues to push herself – both personally and professionally. The hard work is paying off as her profile is rising on a national level.
“It hasn’t been easy,” she says. “There were a lot of times that I wanted to give up and go back to corporate America, getting a paycheck and be done with it. But my heart is in giving back and trying to be a blessing for people.”
Earlier this summer, she was contacted by “Good Morning America” when the morning show was doing a travel piece on New Mexico.
“They called me up,” she says, beaming. “When I met the Second Gentleman (Doug Emhoff), they called me up out of the blue. I just want to be a testimony to people that you can do good and you can be a good person. It may not seem like people are watching you and paying attention, but they are.”
Meyers has also dipped her feet into the film industry, thanks to one of her daughters.
She says her daughter was going to be an extra on “Stranger Things” and Meyers had her photo taken.
“I got a text message asking me if I wanted to be the stand-in for Kym Whitley, who was doing an Amazon pilot with Sarah Michelle Gellar,” she says. “So I said, ‘Sure, of course.’ The same day, Queen Latifah’s people called and asked me to be a stand-in for her. Of course I wanted to do it. After I finished filming that one, I got called for another project that featured Jamie Foxx.”
Meyers said no, due to being exhausted.
“I had just come off two weeks of night shoots,” she says. “I would literally be at the shop during the day, and then be on set by 7:30 p.m. and wrap at 5:30 a.m. Then start the day again.”
Meyers has sacrificed for years to get to this point in her career.
There were missed events for her kids, canceled vacations because work came into play.
Not to mention the days she would begin baking at midnight so cakes would be done in time to get to Taos or Las Cruces.
“I always feel like, ‘God put me here for a reason, you know,’ ” she says. “God, the universe, whatever you believe in, is paying me back now for all of those sacrifices. This is why I turn to community work. I want to show people, especially young girls who look like me, that they can succeed. It takes hard work, but you can get there.”
BUTTER PECAN CAKE AND FROSTING
INGREDIENTS FOR THE CAKE
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons butter
INGREDIENTS FOR THE FROSTING
3/4 cup whipping cream
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped pecans
FOR THE CAKE
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix 2 tablespoons of butter and ¾ cup of pecans and cook in the oven for 10 minutes.
Sift flour, salt and baking powder. Cream sugar, butter and oil until mixed well. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Then alternate adding a little of the milk and flour mixture. Mix in vanilla and then hand mix in the cooked pecans. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until done, turning halfway.
FOR THE FROSTING
Cream butter, salt and vanilla. Then add powdered sugar and cream. Add more or less of the cream depending on how you like the consistency. Once it is at the consistency you want, hand-mix in the ¼ teaspoon of pecans. I put about ½ cup of frosting on top of the first cake then topped it with the second. Then I frosted the sides of both and the top layer.
Recipe from Queneesha Meyers