| Dessert |

Dallas Bakers Appear on Netflix’s Sugar Rush

Ashton Snyder (left) and Lio Botello own Sugar Daddy's Cakery in Dallas.EXPAND
Ashton Snyder (left) and Lio Botello own Sugar Daddy's Cakery in Dallas.
courtesy Sugar Daddy's Cakery
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The Netflix original show Sugar Rush has bakers compete against each other for a prize of $10,000. Most recently, those competing involved a couple of familiar faces from Dallas.

The premiere of the second season included  Ashton Snyder and Lio Botello, owners of Sugar Daddy's Cakery. The two competed against other baker pairs to re-create some of the most popular trending treats from Instagram.

Coincidentally, Snyder and Botello originally met on Instagram before they began dating and eventually getting engaged.

“When Lio and I started dating, I was in college at Johnson & Wales University, and he was living in Hurst,” Snyder says. “I remember FaceTime-ing him one night and telling him this concept that I had called Sugar Daddy’s Cakery. I described to him my business logo in detail.”

Cupcakes from Sugar Daddy's CakeryEXPAND
Cupcakes from Sugar Daddy's Cakery
Lio Botello

After months of FaceTime calls and online chats, Snyder later moved to Texas in November 2017. Upon his arrival, Botello surprised him with a design that would later become the official logo for Sugar Daddy’s Cakery.

“I had told him about my logo five months prior, and he remembered everything to a T, and he had gotten it commissioned for him,” Snyder says. “That’s when (this concept) became tangible and more concrete, and I was like, ‘Oh wow, we’re really going to do this.’”

At Sugar Daddy’s Cakery, Snyder does most of the baking. While Botello contributes to that, he mostly handles marketing, public relations and social media management for the company. Some of Sugar Daddy’s most popular desserts include the cotton candy drip cupcakes, Fruity Pebbles tacos, unicorn cakes and geode cakes.

Since opening in 2017, Sugar Daddy’s Cakery has garnered much popularity, in Dallas and online. Botello’s active social media presence helped him and Snyder receive attention on a national level.

“Netflix actually found us through our Instagram page,” Botello says. “With Ashton being so busy in the kitchen all the time, I’m constantly on top of making sure that we get photographs of every single thing. We were in bed one night, watching Big Little Lies, and Ashton noticed that we had a DM from someone who was interested in talking to us about an opportunity to be on a baking competition show.”

The pair later found out the show was Sugar Rush. Coincidentally, they had just finished watching the first season of the show around the time they received the Instagram message. In February, the pair filmed their appearance; however, they were required to keep it a secret until shortly before the show’s season premiere last month.

While they didn't win the $10,000 prize on their episode, they're still getting business and recognition from the appearance. Since then, Botello and Snyder say orders have been pouring in to Sugar Daddy’s. As of now, the two run the business out of their home in Uptown. They eventually hope to open their own brick-and-mortar shop.

“We are really aiming to find a space that is suitable for foot traffic,” Snyder says. “I’ve had several calls from people asking if we have a store where people can come and sample our products. Unfortunately, the answer is no. We are still a virtual bakery.”

Snyder and Botello hope to open their store in Dallas by Christmastime or shortly after. Eventually, they would like to open other stores in cities such as Denver and Seattle. With each of their shops, they hope to create a space where all are welcome and where nobody will have to fear discrimination.

“In the past, there have been LGBTQ+ people turned away for cakes for weddings and other celebrations,” Botello says. “There aren’t very many bakeries that are branded as gay bakeries, so we’re very proud of creating a safe place for LGBTQ+ people and their allies to order cakes and pastries.”

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