Sweet Success: How One Bakery Grew from Hobby to Thriving Small Business

October 11, 2023
Antonio Mojica
Antonio Mojica

Lorena and Johnny Lock, owners of Million Cakes Endless Delights are no strangers to the importance of cake to milestone life events. “We’ve learned that clients focus on three key items for their Quinceañeras and weddings—good food, good music, and good cake,” says Johnny. The duo attributes part of their success and continued growth to their commitment to quality. “These events happen once in a lifetime, so we put so much care into the initial intake process along with four final inspections before delivery,” says Johnny.

Today Million Cakes is thriving, but the enterprise started as a hobby and a way for Lorena to share her talents with friends and family. “She always had that passion for baking and decorating, so in 2005, she began doing it for close friends and family,” said Johnny.

Lorena Lock, owner Million Cakes Endless Delights

Several years later, when a friend suggested they turn the hobby into a business, the Locks leaned into the entrepreneurial experience they gained from their homeland in Peru when evaluating the Million Cakes venture. “I owned and managed a wholesale office and school supply business for seven years while Lorena owned a salon before we immigrated to the United States,” shares Johnny. “The transition to owning a bakery was natural.”

Johnny and Lorena operated Million Cakes out of their home until 2016, when the duo realized they had outgrown all of the space within the house. “It seemed we were buying a new refrigerator every month to keep up with demand,” jokes Johnny. “At that point we knew it was time to explore the option of a retail space.”

In 2017, they found a retail location in Missouri City, Texas, just southwest of Houston. Two years after, in 2019, the pair opened a second location in East Houston, near Pasadena. The delectable enterprise has continued to grow, adding additional employees and a delivery fleet to help support the weekly production of both large-scale cakes for celebrations such as weddings and Quinceañeras, and smaller cakes for birthdays, baby showers, and more.


Million Cakes Endless DelightsImages courtesy of Million Cakes Endless Delights


In 2022, Million Cakes began working toward their next business milestone—purchasing their own space. “We were hoping to have a space to own rather than continue paying rent, but we knew we needed a strong partner to help guide us,” says Johnny. When the pair connected with Hancock Whitney, they found the process was easier than expected and the experience was vastly different from their experiences with other banks. “One thing we liked about Hancock Whitney was they show clients they are a priority. At other banks it feels like it’s all about them, but working with Hancock Whitney it feels it’s all about us,” shares Johnny.

By early 2023, Million Cakes had found a location in Pasadena to be the permanent home for their thriving bakery, a feat made possible with the help of their strong banking partnership. “I believe that Hancock Whitney immediately understood our needs, and worked with us on a financing package that truly benefitted us, the small business,” shares Johnny, adding that their banker was able to structure the loan with a lower down payment so they could have extra cash for the remodeling needed to the retail space.

With Million Cakes now settled into their new storefront, Johnny shares his vision for the future. “We’re working on finding another space to own, then after that we may think about a third location, but for now, our objective is to be the owners of two spaces to continue serving our clients.”

Through their various business ventures over the years, and the continued success of Million Cakes, the duo has some advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

  • Believe in your business - “While it sounds cliché, it is imperative to believe in your business and believe in your dreams.”
  • Don’t be afraid to be creative - “It’s not always easy to be creative, but strive for it.”
  • Start today - “Start today, with whatever you have, the resources that you have, and never stop finding the right partners to support your business.”

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