Street Sweets food truck is the embodiment of sunshine. From the pink exterior to the delicious desserts served, it’s an experience guaranteed to boost your mood.
By Laurel Sanchez, Photos by Angélica Rein
Street Sweets’ originality speaks for itself, from the truck’s vibrant pink exterior to the decadent desserts. Everything was financed and fixed up by the self-starting Aberdeen, who dreamed of creating her own business. Motivated by the memory of her father, she turned this goal into a reality. “He was the one who taught me everything about cooking and baking,” Aberdeen recalls. “He loved it so much. Some of my best memories growing up are being in the kitchen at 7 or 8 years old, making cookies with my father. The way he combined all of those ingredients, making magic and filling the house with an amazing aroma, is something I’ll never forget.”
Her journey started in 2013 when she was fresh out of culinary school. “My father and I actually built our first food truck,” she says. “It was called the Taco Grill in Carrizo Springs, Texas. It was really good for about nine months, and people really loved it. But life happened and my dad got sick with cancer, so we were forced to move back home.”
Aberdeen and her family packed up and moved back to their hometown of Laredo, Texas, where her father could get the care he needed. It was at this time the opportunity for her to open her own restaurant, Rain Cafe, came about. “I was thinking, ‘I’m going to be able to help my family out financially,’” she says. “But it was a little bit tough. Yes, I had fulfilled my dream of opening up a restaurant, but I wondered how I was supposed to do it without Dad.
“I was doing 18 hours a day at the restaurant,” she recalls. “I had a couch in my office, so once I was done with the day I would go and sleep there and then go visit my dad at the hospital the next morning. In the back of mind I always thought, ‘Dad is going to get better; he’s going to come help me run the restaurant’ because that was always the endgame—to have a restaurant and to run it with my dad.” She continued running Rain Cafe for around a year and a half until, unfortunately, her father succumbed to his illness. “It definitely made me stronger,” she says. “Maybe not right after, as it took me a couple of years to regain my strength and confidence. But I remember that my dad would have not given up so easily. So I haven’t given up.”
Shortly after her father’s passing and the closing down of her first restaurant, Aberdeen and her mother decided they needed a change in their environment. They found their new life in Austin.
Upon moving, she found herself smack in the middle of the downtown finance scene and used her previous business degree to help start some of Downtown Austin’s IBC banks. “I was making all this money, but I was so stressed out; my hair was falling out; my face was full of pimples. Was the money really worth it?” she asked herself. “I quit, and for a while I didn’t know what I wanted to do. But cooking has always been a part of me. I’ve always had so much joy doing it, being able to make people smile with my desserts, but I never thought I could do it professionally.”
One of Aberdeen’s friends saw something she didn’t see in herself and asked her, “Why don’t you start baking professionally?” It was this question that motivated Aberdeen to begin looking into culinary schools. “I wanted to get a degree, not just a certificate,” she says. “I did culinary management with an associate’s [degree]in bakery and pastry…to be able to refine my skills.” After obtaining her degree, she began saving up money to open her third business. Thus Street Sweets was born.
“When I finally had enough, I started shopping around [for food trucks]and found this little old mail truck, so I brought her down from Pennsylvania. We got a new engine, new pink tires and little bits and pieces. This process to get her ready to pass inspection took around nine months.” Out of this storm came Betty, the point of sale food truck for her business Street Sweets. The name “Betty” comes from her father’s childhood dog “Miss Betty” and is the way she carries her father’s memory to her current business. Street Sweets is a food truck of all trades. From mini-cakes to melt-in-your-mouth cupcakes, “there is no dessert that I can’t do,” Aberdeen says. She provides options for those with dietary restrictions as she can make all of her desserts sugar- and gluten-free. She also makes Street Sweets for her clients’ pets, fondly branded “Pup-Cakes.”
At the moment, her dessert truck is for event bookings only, but she hopes to be a full-time food truck in the future. “My goal is to be able to work Street Sweets full time,” she states, “to be able to have enough exposure so people can see what we do. I don’t want to have the customer come to me; I want to go to the customer, to pull up at their location and throw out sweets.”
Her whole business, inside and out, is a product of her resilient and caring nature. “To be able to bring a cupcake and a smile to them” is her motto. “I want to give out something that makes my customers’ whole face light up. To be successful enough to where I can give freely to others. I have gone through hell and back these last few years to make my dream come true, so I want to do the same for others. I put in four years of dedication into Betty. She is what sets me apart.”