A local woman has found the recipe for success: sweets.
Tamarra Thomas is a small business owner and now the winner of a Food Network competition. By sticking to her passion, she found her calling.
A small town confectionery owned by Thomas, a Bowie resident, is getting some big time attention. Just a few weeks ago, the pastry chef was a contestant on Food Network's Sweet Genius.
"So it's four pastry chefs and there are three tests. The first test is chocolate, the second test is candy and the third test is cakes," says Thomas.
On the show, contestants had to incorporate some unusual ingredients into their desserts, one of them being ramen noodles.
"We had to throw instant noodles and some candy," says Thomas.
She not only got through all the rounds, but beat out all the others and came home with new recipes and one sweet prize of $10,000.
She's the owner of Mama Cocoa's, named after a catchy disco song, and like its colorful name, her treats are just as unique.
"Our Aztec spice is our most popular truffle and it's dark chocolate and the center is cinnamon, a little chili powder, a little vanilla and then we top it off with some smoked paprika so it's a smoky, spicy flavor," she says.
Orders are at an all-time high, especially after her national television appearance, but two years ago, Thomas describes a much different period in her life.
"When restaurants have financial troubles they cut out the salaried manager and they cut out pastry and I happened to be both at the time," she says.
She stuck with sweets and decided to be her own boss.
"Stay focused and that's kind of been my mantra here and at some point it'll happen," she says.
Who says you can't have your cake and eat it, too?