Executive Pastry Chef Nilda Arias
Nilda Arias never had a notion to do anything with sweet stuff. While her mother had a passion for confection, working at the original Chocolate Chariot shop in the Forum Shops at Caesars for years, Nilda was very happy with her career in radio.
Now Arias is not only immersed in the world of confection and cake artistry, but has even become something of a leader in the community, with Sweet House filling an important gap between the home hobbyist and professional worlds.
As Nilda tells it, when Chocolate Chariot closed in the '90s, the owner offered Nilda's mom Maria a lot of the equipment. "It sat in the garage for years...then she got the idea to open her own shop." The doting mother named her company "NIlda's Treats," so when business started booming, it was natural for her to call on her daughter to help. That company, too, fell on hard times but by then, the bug had bit Nilda, so she went back to college for some training and shifted into pastry work on the Strip herself.
By last year, Nilda and Maria were ready to try entrepreneurship again. Seeing an important gap in the marketplace, they opened Sweet House last year with a mission.
"The shop came out of my own frustration of not being able to find what I was looking for in chain shops like Michaels and Jo-Ann," Nilda explains, "decorating tools, fondants, hard to find tools and products for cake decorating and candy making."
Even more notably, Sweet House offers classes every month: "everything from the basics of cake decorating to sugar art and complex decorating," says Arias. "We try to bring in big names from the decorating industry, and different people from the community willing to share their skills, if not myself." The schedule even includes free demonstrations and rare bilingual classes in Spanish.
Of course, Sweet House also makes cakes and other treats to order, with any theme imaginable, from DJ turntables to princess castles. There is a lot of community work too, from donating cakes to terminally ill children and their families through the Icing Smiles organization, to working with Girl Scouts and Our Lady of Las Vegas.
Looking back at her unpredictable path, Nilda couldn't be happier with where she's at now.
"I fell into it by accident," she says with a smile, "and never looked back."
Words and Photos: E.C. Gladstone
The Shops at Crystals Aria Las Vegas
3720 Las Vegas Boulevard South Las Vegas, NV 89158
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