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Baking and it’s many wonderful, varied aspects has always been a lifelong love for Maria. Maria discovered the magic of mixing flour, butter, sugar and eggs and making something delicious at an early age. She continued to pursue her interest by attending Baltimore International Culinary College and then graduating from L’Academie de Cuisine’s Pastry Arts program with honors. Maria hasworked as a pastry chef in restaurants, catering companies and patisseries. She has also worked as a pastry chef instructor, teaching Merchant Marines how to bake.  It was  while Maria was teaching that she met her husband, Dien, a merchant marine who worked as a chief steward.

Dien was raised in Hawaii but left after graduating high school to travel and see the world.  He traveled extensively in Asia, Polynesia, South and Central America, Europe and even Africa.  But he always considered Hawaii his home; so after 20 years of traveling he returned.

In 2006 they opened Short N Sweet Bakery & Cafe in Hawi; fulfilling a life-long dream.  In 2011 Short N Sweet moved to a much larger facility in Hilo.  With the extra space they were able to expand their menu and offerings, adding artisan breads, croissants and bagels.  They also enjoy being able to hold wine events and afternoon high teas.

They feel very blessed to have the opportunity to create and live in paradise!