La Feria News

Story of an Overcomer

 Jaime puts his heart into his cheesecakes. Photos: Bill Keltner/LFN

Jaime puts his heart into his cheesecakes. Photos: Bill Keltner/LFN

Jaime Martinez brings Sweet Blessings to La Feria

Bill Keltner

Bill Keltner

The life story of Jaime Martinez is one to inspire the rest of us to go forward and face the challenges of life with optimism and determination. You’ll appreciate why this La Feria native and his wife have named their new business on Oleander street SWEET BLESSINGS, turning out probably the best cheese cakes you’ll ever put into your mouth.

Jaime wasn’t always a maker of cheese cakes and other delicacies. His main interest on graduating from La Feria High School in 1991 was the field of electronics. He got his basic education in that specialty at Texas State Technical College. Armed with those credentials, he went to work first for Time Warner, then Sprint and finally AT &T where he was a cable splicer and installer. You don’t much more physical than that. He was in heaven, doing what he liked and getting paid for it.

But reality caught up with him: He had been diagnosed at 16 years of age with a dreaded disease known as IgA Nephropathy (Burger’s disease). It is a progressive disease with no cure at the present time. The options are a kidney transplant or a life of dialysis.

But, by now, 44-year-old Jaime had a beautiful wife Sonya and two sons: Aaron, a student at Texas A & M Kingsville and Justin, a high school junior at La Feria High School. So, what to do? The answer came from his wife, who offered one of her kidneys to her husband. This bought him time and a new lease on life. It also meant a new direction in his life.

This new direction led me to go back to school and learn the art of cooking. “I took some culinary classes at TSTC,” he said. “I had always enjoyed cooking, and now I found myself with a diploma from TSTC and a Certificate from South Texas College in Commercial Cooking. It was while I was at TSTC that I had learned to bake cheesecakes and found that I really enjoyed doing this.”

Jaime added with a smile: “There are Chicago style cheese cakes, there are New York style cheese cakes, but I think my customers will enjoy my “Martinez style” cheese cakes best of all.”

“I quickly found a location in my hometown, and I worked on getting my own cheesecake shop, he said. “On my 5th Kidneyvarsary,, I had the grand opening to SWEET BLESSINGS CHEESECAKES. I was so grateful when the city came out to help me cut the ribbon opening my new business–I am blessed.”

Jaime said, “I give thanks to God for my new outlook to life, and I am very grateful for all the blessings since my transplant, hence the name SWEET BLESSINGS. I hope to be able to give back to my community and the young people of the area. I am currently a youth leader at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in La Feria, and I enjoy working with these fine kids. That is why I’ll be closed on Wednesdays, for that is the day when we have Youth Group Meetings and Confirmation classes at the church.”

This optimistic entrepreneur encouraged anyone who would like to go into business for himself, “I’d say, ‘Go for it!’ Make sure it is something you love doing,” he said, “as for me, I am enjoying this experience one day at a time. I would like to thank my friends, family and God that has led to this part of my life I call Sweet Blessings.”

After our visit with Jaime, LA FERIA NEWS visited with City Commissioner Eric Hoff, who was present for the ribbon cutting. Hoff said, “On behalf of the Mayor and the City Commission, we welcome this new business to our community. We are trying hard to make La Feria a friendly business community–there are lots more on the way.”

You are invited to call Jaime for more information at 454 0368. or visit him at his new location just one block west of Main Street on West Oleander street.

Where it happens on West Oleander Street in La Feria.

Where it happens on West Oleander Street in La Feria.

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