TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — This Hispanic Heritage Month we are featuring “The Cake Girl”, a local bakery owner who overcame many obstacles to live out her sweet dream.

Her name is Kristina Lavallee and her story began during her childhood in Puerto Rico.

“I could recall at least when I was five years old and I would tell my mom, ‘Mami, take me to the bakeries’,” Lavallee said.

Lavallee’s mother, Margarita, was an aspiring chef back then, which was a male-dominated industry.

“She taught me, you know, to have love in the kitchen and everything you do. She inspired me to be what I am today,” Lavallee said.

After her mother officially became a chef, the family moved to Florida where Lavallee then ended up going to the University of Central Florida and meeting her husband, Kirby.

Lavallee then went from baking for friends to having her own food truck and finally opening up The Cake Girl’s brick and mortar location.

“At first it was scary because taking that leap, you’re like ‘oh my god is it going to work, is it not going to work?'” she said.

Since opening for business, The Cake Girl has received national recognition and made cakes for celebrity clients, including one for Tom Brady’s retirement.

“Never in a million years I would have thought I would be where I’m at today or the success or business it’s had,” she said.

The Cake Girl is located at 14851 N Dale Mabry Hwy in Tampa and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Check out the shop’s menu online.