Rosen Alumna Recognized for ‘Extraordinary Achievements’ by Hillsborough County

Kristina Lavallee, who co-owns The Cake Girl with her husband, Kirby Lavallee,  recently received recognition from the Hillsborough County Commissioner. Pictured above are Kristina, her parents, Commissioner Donna Cepeda and Sen. Jay Collins.

Kristina Lavallee ’13 recently received a commendation from the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners for “her extraordinary achievements as an entrepreneur and community leader” that “have left an indelible mark on her community.”

man and woman stand with award
Kirby Lavallee introduces his wife, Kristina Lavallee, aka”The Cake Girl.” The Lavallees met at UCF and opened their bakery in 2008.

Lavallee and her husband, Kirby Lavallee ’09 are the co-owners of The Cake Girl, a delicious bakery in Tampa that the duo established in 2008.

The commendation, presented by Hillsborough County Commissioner Donna Cepeda on March 21, is the latest of accolades that the Lavallees’ labor of love has received.

The duo met while working at Target to help put themselves through UCF. Kristina was pursuing dual degrees in Hospitality Management, and Food Service & Restaurant Management from the Rosen College of Hospitality Management, and Kirby was a criminal justice major in the College of Community Innovation and Education.

Kristina was everyone’s favorite co-worker – she would often bring in baked goods that she was perfecting. Sometimes, they were riffs on recipes that she had grown up with, sometimes they were original creations. She had learned the art of baking from Margarita, her chef-mother, and she wanted her colleagues to experience her Puerto Rican culture – and her cakes.

From the first bite of Kristina’s Puerto Rican cake, he was hooked. Suddenly, all the buzz around the office made sense.

With just one bite, he recognized the immense potential in Kristina’s culinary skills. It became evident that with her expertise, this cake was not just a treat but a catalyst for business triumph.

And in just a few short years, the Lavallees have continued their recipe of baking success at their Tampa location and are in talks to expand their business throughout Central Florida, says Kirby Lavallee, Chief Success Coach and vice president of franchise development.

“We’re currently in discussions with multiple locations and expect to announce future sites within the next few months as agreements are finalized, further solidifying our commitment to expanding and serving diverse communities,” Lavallee says.

The support from the Tampa community and beyond has been meaningful to Kristina and Kirby, who have incorporated their ethos of  inclusivity and giving back since they began their business.

“Celebrating alongside my family and esteemed community members like Sen. Jay Collins and Commissioner Cepeda,” Kristina says, “Energizes our dedication to excellence in community stewardship. It reinforces our ongoing commitment to meaningful engagement and proactive involvement in shaping a vibrant community who have supported us since day one.”

Featured Image for the Contact Us Bar
Contact Us