New Cupcake Company Sets up Shop in the Valley

it's been about two years since Vi Trinh left her pursuit of a child psychology degree at UCLA to open Se' La Vi Sweets as a private catering business. Instead of doing homework, she would watch the Food Network and bake. So at the insistence of her boyfriend—and now partner Physent Walker—she dropped out of college and applied to Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena. She was accepted, but could not afford tuition, so she just went at it, full time, catering parties and events with her own style of cupcakes and other sweets. So far, business is great.

"To me they're like homestyle baked cupcakes with my own twist on how a cupcake should be—really moist and full of the flavor. That's what's really important to me," Trinh said. And that's no exaggeration. Her cupcakes stand up to the moistness test and best of all, they are regular sized rather than the gargantuan meal-sized food coma inducing ones you find at competitors across the city.

As Trinh made her rounds at events, she eventually met up with Erin Earls and Jillian DeFrehn, owners of Nola Ice in Sherman Oaks. It was a perfect match, so the two businesses are now partnered at the Ventura Boulevard shop, offering New Orleans snoballs and a variety of cupcakes and baked sweets including brownie balls and chocolate covered cheesecake bites (inspired by Florida cheesecake on a stick).