Business as (un)usual: A Sweet Design

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting small businesses in a plethora of ways. Businesses are being forced to adapt quickly amid changing guidelines and adhere to extensive safety protocols. The “Business as (un)usual” photo series highlights local small businesses near CSUN and dives into how they are navigating through the challenges they have to face in these times.


Daniel Mendez

Customers’ favorite cupcakes are displayed behind food labels that describe their flavors and ingredients at A Sweet Design bakery in Granada Hills, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020.

Daniel Mendez, Reporter

Ranging from a wide variety of flavorful cakes, cupcakes to macarons and cake pops, A Sweet Design in Granada Hills has all the delicacies your sweet tooth could ever desire. On a regular day, A Sweet Design would be catering out orders, their phones would be ringing and customers would walk in to make their purchases.

But once the statewide COVID-19 restrictions hit, business as they once knew changed.

Angela Apodaca, the manager of A Sweet Design, described what happened to the store at the start of the pandemic.

“When COVID-19 first hit, this whole city looked like a ghost town,” Apodaca said. “Banks and other businesses around us were closing left and right which eventually led to us doing the same.”

Paulina Cisneros, left, Francesca Cristino, and Allison Thomas work behind the counter of A Sweet Design in Granada Hills, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. (Danny Mendez)

The majority of their profits came from catering to special events such as birthdays and graduations. Due to the cancelations of these events, revenue has taken a toll.

Since reopening, A Sweet Design has been working on getting back on their feet and getting business back to usual. They’ve had to adapt to the situation by reducing pay, cutting hours, closing earlier and making smaller cakes since gatherings aren’t allowed during this time.

Despite the challenges they’re facing, A Sweet Design has continued to serve their treats to the community, like the intricately designed pink velvet cupcake that features their signature pink vanilla cake topped with strawberry buttercream and sprinkles — a customer favorite.

“Our customers leave here with a smile on their face and have a better day after visiting,” Apodaca said.

Business for A Sweet Design seems to be picking up as life as we once knew seems to return. The store is currently staying afloat and remains optimistic about profits picking up in the future.

A photo from when A Sweet Design was visited by the late Chris Burrous, a former KTLA news anchor, and his daughter. (Daniel Mendez)