HSU student starts vegan concha business

Yolanda Cesareo Zacarías, English major, spent her quarantined summer experimenting with the craft of vegan concha’s. It brought upon the birth of her small business, Sueña Con Dulce, in remembrance of her mother who passed away this year. 

Zacarías sells the concha’s in bundles with the options of strawberry, vanilla, chocolate and cinnilla, a mixture of cinnamon and vanilla for 6 for $10. Due to high demand, Zacarías said the price of bundles will increase to 6 for $12 in the near future.  

“I really started doing this because, I felt like Humboldt needs a bit more culture. I’ve been up here for years, and when students come up here they get homesick because they miss a lot of traditional foods from home.” 
Yolanda Cesareo Zacarías  

Apart from being a full-time HSU student, she is working two part-time jobs and running a small business. In order to balance her busy schedule, Zacarías has built a routine to run her business Instagram account, completing homework assignments, and her part time jobs before the weekend. She dedicates her Friday nights and Saturdays to baking and distributing vegan conchas; it usually takes her up 12 hours. 

Yolanda Cesareo Zacarías sells chocolate, vanilla, and cinilla vegan concha’s through her new business Sueña con Dulce. She shared the picture on her Instagram page on July 24, 2020. Photo courtesy from Yolanda Cesareo Zacarías.

“I really started doing this because I felt like Humboldt needs a bit more culture,” Zacarías said.  “I’ve been up here for years, and when students come up here they get homesick because they miss a lot of traditional foods from home.”

Zacarías noticed the lack of vegan and traditional Hispanic/Latinx pastries. As she became more confident and experienced in baking throughout the summer, vegan conchas became more sensible to her dietary lifestyle. 

Traditional conchas contain dairy products. Vegan conchas substitutes dairy products with healthier alternatives like oat milk, plant based butter and applesauce. 

Since the summer, Sueña con Dulce has grown and satisfied customers. 

“Conchas are usually made with lard so eating vegan ones made me feel so much better, I love them!” said customer Tania Estrada Rodriguez.

Zacarías is taking every precaution necessary to ensure the health and safety of customers. By constantly washing her hands during different tasks in the process of baking and wearing a mask and gloves during and after baking. 

Sueña con Dulce was inspired by Zacarías’ mother and in the near future, it will expand their Hispanic/Latinx pastry options to empanadas.

“A few people thought my name was Dulce, but the way I came up with that name was because of my mom,” Zacarías said. “She would always say to me ‘sueña con los angelitos’.”

People who are interested in experiencing a vegan alternative of Hispanic/Latinx conchas can place an order via Instagram message @suenacondulce. Zacarías takes orders throughout the weekday and schedules pick up days are on Saturdays from Noon -2 p.m. at her home. 

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