How your clients refer to you:
Candace, or sometimes Mrs. Sprinkles or the Cupcake Lady.
Emails: @candacenelson or firstname.lastname@example.org, Websites: www.pizzana.com, www.sprinkles.com
How many years have you been in business in LA?
Sprinkles opened in spring 2005 and Pizzana opened spring 2017.
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
After the dot com bust of 2000 I decided to pursue my true passion, baking. I attended pastry school in San Francisco and ultimately decided to reinvent the cupcake.
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
I’m known for taking comfort foods that people love and putting a modern spin on them. I think I’m differentiated by my unique upbringing, having grown up as an expat, and also by my diverse range of experiences, having spent time in the finance and tech industries.
What do you feel gives you longevity in this big city with so many options?
Obsessing over the details and caring about the customer.
How do you positively impact your clientele?
I love to create spaces that are, in a sense, safe havens for my customers - where they can escape the manic, divisive world that we live in and come together through the unifying power of food.
What is your favorite part of your job?
The food! Pizza... Cupcakes. I clearly have a carb obsession. I also love that my children can legitimately be part of what I do. They work as “taste testers,” baking assistants, and also to brainstorm ideas for new dessert specials. It is truly a family business.
What is your favorite secret LA spot?
The food at Croft Alley is so yummy that I don’t even mind that it’s served on paper plates! Get the kale salad with house-made turkey sausage.
How do you benefit mamas?
Moms can feel good about bringing their families to Pizzana. Our crust is made from the best organic, whole grain Italian flour. Our cheese is flown in from Italy and our San Marzano tomatoes are grown for us on a plot of land in the Neapolitan countryside.
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
Someone once told me that I create “craveable” desserts. Desserts people think about long after eating them.
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field:
Nancy Silverton and Mindy Segal
What is the best advice anyone's ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
If it was easy everyone would do it.
As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best time-saving trick?
Encouraging my kids to do things for themselves. I used to drive myself crazy making their breakfasts and packing their lunch in the mornings while trying to get myself together too. One morning I looked up and said, “You are both very capable. Today you are making your own breakfast and lunch.” The idea stuck and it’s been a lifesaver for me and also very empowering for them.