Owner/Pastry chef Shayla Daniels, aka Chef Shay, was raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She grew up with her older sister, Brittany, and her mother, Denise. With her extended family just being over the state line in Chicago, they spent lots of time there!
From the moment Shayla was able to sit at the kitchen table, she began helping out in the kitchen. Her passion for baking developed when she’d help her grandmother make desserts for family get-togethers. She’d spend summers with her grandparents and LOVED snuggling up with her grandma and watching Food Network shows together. Gale Gand’s Sweet Dreams was their favorite show to watch.
As soon as Shayla graduated from high school, she began her pastry journey at The French Pastry School in downtown Chicago. She learned everything Pastry, from wedding cakes to sugar showpieces and everything in between. Even with commuting from Wisconsin to Illinois 5 days a week, Chef Shay says that she’d do it again in a heartbeat!
After finishing pastry school, she took a job in a local bakery in her hometown building wedding cakes. One year later she would have brain surgery! On September 26, 2011, Shayla underwent major brain surgery, in connection with her Spina Bifida, leaving her with a titanium plate and screws in her skull. By the grace of God, she recovered from her surgery.
The following September, she and her mom packed up and headed to Florida, leaving the harsh Wisconsin winters and all of their loved ones behind.
Since arriving to Tampa, Florida, chef Shay has been blessed to work for some of the best chefs and restaurants in the area. During that time, she was able to fine tune her craft and really fell in love with French macarons. After holding a management position at the iconic Columbia Restaurant Group for three years, Chef Shay decided to take the leap of faith and start Chez Shay’s Sweets!
Now that she is able to focus solely on her business, the sky’s the limit and she strives to continuously be the sweetest smile of your day!