Owners Princess Reyes and Jimmy Bradley with their two kids at the Celebration of Mesa event on Oct. 8. (Photo by Bella Villalpando)

Local business looks to gain popularity with traditional desserts

A locally owned Mesa family business is hoping to gain popularity for their filled donuts covered in cinnamon sugar, but they have more to offer the community than just sweet treats.

 Malasadas are defined as a Portuguese confection of yeast dough formed into a ball, deep-fried in oil, and coated in sugar, according to WordSense Dictionary. 

When Portuguese plantation workers arrived in Hawaii 1878, they brought this recipe with them to Hawaii. Now, according to Hawai’i Magazine, “you can find [malasadas] at local bakeries all over.” 

The owner and founder of Wiki-licious, Amy Johnson, is a single mother who wanted to make money while also making time for her family. She went to Hawaii and found the best recipe for malasadas that were the most flavorful and had the best texture. 

Back home in Alaska, Johnson asked friends and family to help her sell the product, before she decided to franchise her not-so-small business. 

Wiki-licious then expanded into Utah, Idaho, Colorado, and Arizona, where Princess Reyes and Jimmy Bradley were given that same opportunity she wanted, to make money and be with family. 

“I decided to buy them one day and we became obsessed to the point where we were buying them every week,” said Reyes. 

Reyes and Bradley started out as customers but are the current co-owners of Wiki-licious Mesa, Scottsdale, and Tempe. 

These co-owners are the parents of three, working full time jobs during the week and then selling delicious malasadas on weekends. 

Even though they live busy lives, they expressed how fortunate they feel to have such great customers that come back and how their community of other local businesses have supported them. 

Reyes shared, “We feel really grateful for that opportunity to get to know people and then share a delicious product with them as well.”  

Bradley expressed how they both found a supportive community in Mesa where everyone builds each other up and supports one another. 

“We’re very fortunate to have that kind of support and that kind of community around us,” said Bradley. 

Reyes and Bradley wanted to become small business owners, but they also want to set an example of what hard work and perseverance looks like for their kids. 

“That’s really important for us, is being able to model that type of behavior for our kids,” Reyes shared. 

They also wanted to voice the ideas of taking the risk and making your customers a priority over your product for any young entrepreneurs or small business owners. 

“Feel hard, feel often, and celebrate your failures,” said Bradley. At the end of the day, “it’s truly a family business.”