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Momo’z Berriez satisfies customers’ sweet tooth with chocolate confections

Monique Fraile’s passion for berry delicacies turned into a gourmet dessert business on the Instagram page @momozberriez. The fourth-year sociology student specializes in custom chocolate-covered strawberries and can create an array of treats for any occasion. (Anika Chakrabarti/Daily Bruin staff)

By Janice Yun

Jan. 26, 2021 6:15 p.m.

Monique Fraile helps customers show their loved ones how berry much they love them.

Since May, the fourth-year sociology student has been operating a gourmet dessert business on the Instagram page @momozberriez. While she specializes in making custom chocolate-covered strawberries, Fraile said she also creates treats like pastel colored berries, hot cocoa bombs and chocolate-covered Oreos. The idea behind her business formed after she made a batch of chocolate-covered strawberries as a Mother’s Day gift, Fraile said. Although she started making the berries for fun and handed some extra boxes out to her friends, she said others began showing interest in purchasing her treats.

“I just ordered another pack of boxes on Amazon, and then I started getting orders every week,” Fraile said. “I thought I should make a business (Instagram) and it actually blew up pretty fast.”

(Courtesy of Monique Fraile)
Fraile said Momo'z Berriez is a popular treat for celebrations among her customers. With customizations and a range of different sweets, she said she has received orders to celebrate a wide array of occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. (Courtesy of Monique Fraile)

[Related: Required Taste: Exploring the biological and cultural roots of a love for sweet treats]

After moving back home at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fraile said she found herself with a lot of free time. Although cooking was already one of her hobbies, the additional time she had in quarantine allowed her to practice different decorating techniques, like hand lettering, from TikTok and YouTube videos.

With new skills to design her sweet treats, Fraile said she went from making simple milk chocolate or white chocolate berries to creating hand-lettered and custom-designed desserts. She said customers often request specific colors and designs by sending her screenshots of styles they find online, which she then uses as inspiration when completing their orders.

“There’s been times where they’d tell me I have creative freedom and they’ll just give me a theme or something,” Fraile said. “But for the most part it’s them asking specifically what they want.”

One of Fraile’s regular customers, Lizbeth Cosio, said she left the customization of a number of her orders up to Fraile in order to help her practice freestyling. From these orders, Cosio said she has received an assortment of truffles and marzipan-flavored berries, as well as chocolate-covered Oreos with a purple marble design.

While she has given Fraile creative liberty for some of her orders, Cosio said she has also requested specific designs for special occasions. One such order was for a breakable heart – a heart-shaped chocolate shell with a hollowed interior to fill with small gifts – that Cosio gifted to a friend for her 21st birthday. She said she requested the heart in a Tiffany Blue color with “Happy Birthday” written on it, and the order was ready to be picked up about a week later.

“I thought that the breakable heart was perfect for her 21st birthday since it makes you feel special,” Cosio said. ”There’s something in there so it’s more of a surprise.”

(Courtesy of Monique Fraile)
Fraile said she first began decorating after making her mom chocolate-covered strawberries for Mother's Day. The down time she had in quarantine gave her the opportunity to practice and learn decorating, she said. (Courtesy of Monique Fraile)

[Related: Student’s baking-oriented Instagram account displays his intricate confections]

Momo’z Berriez is popular for holidays and celebrations among other clients as well. Citlalli Moreno, another regular customer, said she bought customized strawberries as gifts for various occasions like Mother’s Day and her boyfriend’s job promotion. Moreno said she sees the berries as a fail-safe gift, as they are a treat anyone would enjoy.

With her eye-catching designs, Fraile said she has received orders to celebrate a wide array of occasions – from anniversaries to gender reveal parties. One couple ordered from her business for each of their monthly anniversaries, and Fraile said she enjoyed being able to watch them grow.

“It’s cool that these people put their trust in me in a very important part of their lives, and I’ve met a lot of nice and genuine people just by making strawberries for them,” Fraile said.

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Janice Yun | Daily Bruin senior staff
Yun is a senior staff writer for Arts & Entertainment. She was previously the Theater | Film | Television editor from 2021-2022 and an Arts reporter from 2019-2021. She is also a fourth-year communication and Asian American studies student.
Yun is a senior staff writer for Arts & Entertainment. She was previously the Theater | Film | Television editor from 2021-2022 and an Arts reporter from 2019-2021. She is also a fourth-year communication and Asian American studies student.
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