HOUSTON – Anyone who thinks baking is a breeze has probably never done it before. It’s something Treacherous Leches owner Jodi Wray had to learn the hard way. After enduring hardships brought on by the pandemic, Wray was forced to swap his business cap with a baking hat and quickly learned just how hot it can get in the kitchen.
Opened in 2017, Treacherous Leches started out in the Conservatory, Houston’s first food hall. The bakery had a successful tenure there, but after going through some changes and the closing of Conservatory, Treacherous Leches found itself on the move.
“Business was booming. Somethings changed and next thing I know, we landed in The Woodlands Mall,” said Wray. “That’s when COVID reared its face, and things definitely changed.”
Facing uncertainty, a shortage of business and loss of staff, Wray was in a dire situation with no one able to bake the cakes.
“I didn’t know how to bake. I’d never done any baking,” said Wray. “I stopped by H-E-B, and I bought some flour, and I bought some eggs, and I slowly started the path of a baker.”
With no formal training in food preparation, Wray started from square one, not quite knowing what he was getting himself into.
“I Googled what was in the cake recipe, and I thought, this can’t be this hard. I was completely wrong. Baking is hard. Baking is a science,” said Wray.
After many failed attempts and a small fire, all of Wray’s hard work finally paid off.
“I probably went through 500 lbs. of flour before I got something remotely close to a cake,” said Wray. “Four to five weeks later, I finally got my first presentable cake, that I was like, ‘Yes! I did this!’”
The experience has given Wray a deep appreciation and respect for anyone brave and skilled enough to take on the role of professional chef.
“It was a lot of work. These guys that go to school and do all this, my hat’s off to them. It wasn’t easy, you know, and I’m still learning,” said Wray.
Wray enjoys expanding his knowledge as well as their menu. With a range of flavors including caramel, red velvet and strawberry as well as seasonal cakes like pumpkin and peppermint, there’s something to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.
“I’m always looking for a new challenge,” said Wray. “It’s something different...You definitely got to give it a try.”
Today, Treacherous Leches employs a team of bakers who work out of Henderson & Kane in Sixth Ward. Wray has plans to find a new space for the business to call its own in the near future, but greatly appreciates the support he’s received from his peers at Henderson & Kane.
“I wouldn’t change anything I’ve done. I’ve learned a lot. Especially working with some of the chefs I’ve worked [with],” said Wray. “Every day I learn something new...It takes some time to get it right.”
Treacherous Leches is located inside Henderson & Kane at 715 Henderson St, Houston, TX 77007. For more information, click here.