‘It’s like giving happiness’: Crystal Lake catering business brings mini pancakes to the masses

Cary resident Jasmine Rico was trying her luck at starting her own business but wasn’t feeling the spark with homemade candles or a dessert table catering business. When scrolling through social media, Rico saw a small business in Mexico selling mini pancakes and knew she could put her own spin on the idea.

That is when the Crystal Lake-based catering business Sweets in Heaven Mini Pancakes was launched in 2021. Rico creates plates of miniature pancakes with endless topping possibilities such as whipped cream, strawberries, cinnamon, powdered sugar and condensed milk.

Her business takes her anywhere from weddings and baby showers to local festivals. This summer, anyone can try out Sweets in Heaven at McHenry Fiesta Days and Lake in the Hills Summer Sunset Festival. Rico sold out of her pancakes one hour before closing at Woodstock’s Food Truck Festival on June 1.

“This year has been nothing but blessings,” she said.

Her fiance, Uriel Cardoso, helps with ideas by creating a menu of flavor combinations such as tres leches, s’mores and churro, which is his favorite. More menu items were born from customer input on social media, Rico said.

Her favorites are the taffy apple with caramel and mixed nuts and Chef’s Kiss, which has strawberries, almonds, Nutella and powdered sugar.

Jasmine Rico started her own catering business, Sweets in Heaven Mini Pancakes, and will be at local festivals this summer. Courtesy of Dulce Intud

“Most of my menu is from Facebook and other people’s ideas,” she said. “So far I’ve gotten nothing but compliments on the menu.”

Despite the overwhelming growth, Rico typically handles events by herself. She has a strong team of her friends and Cardoso who help her out when they can, but she hopes to expand her business in the future.

“I would say 95%, it’s just me,” she said.

Her future goals include getting a food trailer and eventually a small permanent store. For now, they are focused on getting business to become her full-time day job instead of her “five-to-nine” job. It takes a lot of work and promotion, but the hard work pays off when she sees people smile when they try her food, Rico said.

“It’s like giving happiness to someone else,” she said. “Giving that person happiness and the deliciousness in their mouth is why I like to cater.”

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