“Telling the Stories of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community”

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“Telling the Stories of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community”

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February 7, 2024

Tigg Bakes Cakes in Salt River

By Chris Picciuolo

Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, Victoria “Tigg” Wood grew up in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community influenced by the drive and successes of loved ones and their business ventures.

Wood’s father, Malcolm Wood, was the owner of Bee-Bee’s Towing & Repair, and her uncle Daniel Wood had a business called Cakes By Pie.

“Seeing them run their own businesses really inspired me,” said Wood.

They inspired her so much that Wood started her own business, Tigg Bakes, baking cakes, cookies and other sweets.

“My middle name is Tigger, but everyone calls me Tigg. Hence the name Tigg Bakes,” she said.

Wood has been baking for about 10 years now, but she said she didn’t know anything about baking until she went to college. She attended Johnson & Wales University in Miami, Florida, earning an associate degree in baking and pastry.

In January 2020, her family encouraged her to start an Instagram page (@tiggbakes) for her business. With the social media presence now on both Instagram and Facebook, Woods’ business has been flourishing.

“For the most part, I’m a one-woman show,” said Wood.

She gives props to her mother, Shannon Reina, who Wood said has supported her tremendously.

Wood is a scratch baker, meaning everything she bakes is all homemade. To reach the stage where she is now with her perfected recipes, she admits that there was some trial and error along the way. Some of her recipes, she said, come from school, online research, and other bakers and chefs she has met. “I try to make every cake as if it were for someone in my family,” she said.

Wood added, “Knowing someone wants my creation at their special event really motivates me to make it my best. I love getting tagged in pictures and hearing they liked what I made for them.”

Some of the cake decorations Wood is most proud of include O’odham gingerbread, a 50th anniversary cake, Wood’s latest logo, a gender-reveal cake, and cookies for Miss Indian Arizona 2022-2023 Sistine Lewis.

Besides baking cakes and cookies to order, Tigg Bakes also sells at the McDowell Pop-Up Shop, with a different menu every time.

“I try keep up with all the hot trends or what my supporters request,” said Wood. “My favorite treat is always changing. It depends on what’s on the menu that week.”

Tigg Bakes posts menus on its social media pages so people can see what is available to order with a one-week notice from customers.

Cake sizes are 6 to 12 inches (round), quarter/half/full (sheet) and 6 to 10 inches (heart shaped). Customers can choose whipped cream or buttercream frosting, and there are many flavors and fillings available as well.

The starting price for a cake is $50, with the final price varying according to size, flavor and decoration.

Wood has some advice for other potential entrepreneurs. “If you are also a creator in any way, put yourself out there!” she said. “One thing I regret was being too self-conscious and holding myself back. I’m very proud of how far I have come, and I’m excited to share where I will go with Tigg Bakes.”

Tigg Bakes is online with Facebook and Instagram; the telephone number is (480) 375-0985.