Jessica Welsh is a Cutler Bay resident whose 9-to-5 job is working as a computer systems analyst, but two years ago she decided she needed something to balance that side of her life, so the self-taught gourmet cook began experimenting with Cuban and Spanish recipes for flan and added her own “All-American” touch.
As “Gringa Flan,” she opened a storefront shop in Palmetto Bay, shared with Wendy’s Chocolates and Gift Baskets and she also frequently exhibits her desserts at area fairs and festivals, including such locations as Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens and the Deering Estate. She even made the Miami New Times Best of Miami 2016 list in the category of “Best Flan.”
“We are honored to have made the exclusive Best of Miami list,” Welsh said. “I started this business to share my passion and connect with people, and that’s why I say my flans are always sweetened with love.”
All her flans are made to order and are available in a variety of flavors including her signature Toasted Coconut, Chocolate Passion, Vanilla, Mango, Guava and Pumpkin.
“This was the first time we ever did the mango event at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens and it was awesome,” Welsh said. “It was hot, but it was a really great event. People are fanatical about their mangos. We were able to turn out a really delicious mango flan that they went crazy for, so it was a fun time.”
A Washington, DC, native, Welsh moved to the Cutler Bay area 25 years ago and fell in love with the city’s Latin flavor. She credits her mother and grandmother with teaching her to love baking and to love all people, regardless of race, creed or color.
“I work full time and Gringa Flan is my passion, so I love being out in the community,” Welsh said. “I love being outdoors anyway, so I enjoy these events. I love to see people’s reactions when they taste the flan. We had a few people who had never tried flan before, so we had a whole new set of customers.”
Gringa Flan’s shared storefront location is at S. Dixie Highway and 178th Street. Pizza Johny’s at 9529 SW 72 St. sells her flan by the slice, and Welsh is hoping other restaurants will, too. She hasn’t devised a workable shipping method yet, but Welsh said she had dedicated fans who drive down from West Palm Beach to get her flan.