Desserts are in my DNA. I love a sweet treat. As a recent cancer survivor I know I should be diminishing sugar intake, but after going through treatment, there’s a fine line between enjoying a certain quality of life and the realities of post-chemo health recommendations. After all, I could no easier stop eating cookies, cake, and pies then I could stop breathing. So, quality is a huge factor with any baked goods I put in my mouth, and finding Cymz Sweet Kre8tionz was finding my sweet haven. Cymbree and Glen Fevella are the team behind the new bakery, and Cymbree is the inspiration and full-time creative behind the brand, with her husband coming in as the official taster and weekend warrior.
“My mom really inspired me,” says Cymbree. “She was the baker when I was growing up. I started in 2014. I had been doing floral design at a local shop, and then I also worked as a dental assistant for about five to six years. But my mom baked all the time; she made treats like carrot cake and pies. So I was looking around at the market in 2014 trying to think about what I could make. I started off with cake pops and cupcakes, and chocolate-dipped things, then as the years went by I got into heavily doing tarts and different flavored cupcakes, push pops, mini pies, and cake cups. Now our variety and range of things we do is like 20 different dessert items.”
Cymz just opened her first brick and mortar shop at the end of July, but you may already know her by following her Instagram @cymz_sweet_Kre8tionz, or from her Maui Sunday Market presence. Her sweet treats are some of the most unique I have found, and they really capture local flavors.
“We have a Facebook and Instagram presence. We also have a website. We were making the treats at the Pono Center commercial kitchen at Lokahi for many years before opening this spot. Gradually as we started to make different things, especially our Chantilly that has milk, we had to get insurance and we would grow a little by little. The game changer was the Food Innovation program. Now we have our own place. We started operating in June here, opening the doors to the bakery in late July.”
The University of Hawai‘i Maui College has a Maui Food Innovation Center with an incubation program to coach and train food producers in our community. Cymbree says it really helped her focus with her bakery.
“It was really good going through the program,” says Cymbree. “My business has changed me to be more outgoing, lively and involved within the community. It has changed my entire confidence. The innovation course was really good… I was so thankful! It was a good experience.”
I go down to the bakery to meet Cymbree and check out the bakery. Her sign is a cute pop of pink in a sea of doctors and dentist offices in the new Maui Lani Professional Row. She is working on the retail arrangement for birthday cards next to her gorgeous new refrigerated display case.
“I am going to have cards and candles – you know for grab and go, one-stop shop,” she says. “I also have a passion for color schemes; I like to work on the presentation. I don’t eat the majority of the treats, but I have tasters like my mom and my husband. Now we have the space to really experiment and be more creative.”
She takes me in the back to show me some of the baked goods and treats for this week’s open hours. They’re beautifully arranged on glass cake stands and platters, almost too cute to eat.
“We have our cake cups,” says Cymbree. “This one is strawberry cake with haupia and strawberry puree, with Chantilly and chocolate chips. The cake cups we do in strawberry, banana, haupia, coconut, guava, ube, and red velvet. This plate here is mochi cake cups, between a cake and mochi consistency. This one is Oreo, ube. Then we have our cupcakes in red velvet Oreo, and banana with Chantilly. All our toppings are Chantilly. Then we have the truffles: This is an Oreo truffle, and a Biscoff truffle. Basically the cookies are broken down and made into a creamy mixture and covered in white chocolate.”
The signature tarts are my favorite, and one of their most popular treats.
“We have our signature tarts: This one is Kona coffee with Oreo; we have a Kula strawberry and the outside is chocolate, we have a guava liliko‘i, mango cheesecake with coconut, and we have a pumpkin cheesecake with haupia,” says Cymbree. “Our most popular is the ube Chantilly with the fruity pebbles. Our tarts alone come in 20 different flavors. We usually rotate them out to see what is popular, to see what people like and what they don’t like.“
They have an unusual shape – cylindrical and tall. She hand-presses them and has trademarked them too.
“People really love that it is bite size,” says Cymbree. “I know I have seen it other places, but nobody does the tart like we do it. Ours is topped with Chantilly and is super signature. Our ube one is trademarked. It’s called a Purpshotz. It’s our nickname for it so people know that. Its the ube tart, but nobody makes it like us. That’s our tart.”
Eventually her little bakery will have drinks too, like lattes and coffees to pair with the goodies. But for now, she plans to be open two days a week and make appearances at Maui Sunday Market and other events. You have to tune into her Instagram to get the days she will be open for that week.
“My passion is what people like!” says Cymbree. “For the guava tart, during the season we hand pick, we puree, we freeze, then we use it when we need to. I had a comment at the Maui Ag Festival in particular, a local boy came with his family and they bought a pack, and then later they came back and said, ‘Oh my gosh that was so good, it reminded me of when I was a small kid walking up to ‘Iao and picking the guavas up off of the ground. That is exactly what I taste when I bite into that.’ So that is what I love.”
Cymz Sweet Kre8tionz Bakery
153 Ma’a St. Unit 101
Kahului Hi 96732
Open Thursday 10am to 4pm and Friday 10 to 5pm this week, check Facebook and Instagram for weekly hours. For delivery order on Bite Squad App.