Genesis Hernandez prepares multiple orders of churro cheesecake bites from inside the Sugar N Glitz food truck on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, at Cabezon Park in Rio Rancho. (Matt Hollinshead/Observer)

Stuck at home last fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Genesis Hernandez had all the time in the world to brainstorm recipes for sugary goodness.

That quickly turned into Sugar N Glitz food truck for the 13-year-old Rio Rancho resident and her family. After launching the home-based business in August 2020, the demand kept growing and didn’t stop.

On April 7, Sugar N Glitz became New Mexico’s first dessert-only food truck equipped with a commercial kitchen and espresso machine.

“I started it off as a hobby, and I didn’t expect it to take this far off. But I’m really happy that it did… I’ve always helped out in the kitchen, but it wasn’t until later on that I started doing it on my own,” said Genesis, who started cooking when she was about 6. “We’ve met a lot of different people through this and through other food truck vendors and home-baking businesses. It’s been cool.”

Sugar N Glitz has parked at Cabezon Park every Wednesday since May and become a go-to spot for a sweet fix.

“Obviously with the shutdowns and everything, food trucks became a big thing,” said Al Hernandez, Genesis’s father.

Norma Hernandez, Genesis’s mother, said switching to a food truck format enabled the family to branch out to easily accessible parts of town where patrons can grab a brownie slice or a latte prior to starting their graveyard shift at work. She also said the latter’s been especially key because customers don’t have to settle for Starbucks for their evening cup of Joe.

“The dessert lovers out there have been very supportive… Our customer base has increased and been very steady,” she said.

The day before Sugar N Glitz launched, Al Hernandez said he quit his sales job because he realized he had to be all-in to contribute.

The menu includes triple-fudge brownie bites, turtle brownie bites, quarter-pound chocolate chip cookies, cakesicles, churro cheesecake bites and dipped strawberries.

Now that it’s autumn, items like cream cheese-drizzled pumpkin cookies, which Genesis said are her main specialty, and pumpkin muffins were added to the menu.

The goal was to offer more indulgent goodies, Al Hernandez said.

Since Genesis has resumed school and must wait until the early evening to start her shifts, Norma Hernandez said the rest of the family had to step up a bit more in jotting down recipes and baking while Genesis is away so operations don’t stall.

“It can be hard to balance the two and still get good grades… but it’s fun trying to balance it and having a busy life,” Genesis said. “I thought it’d definitely get big and then it’d start to slow down. But now that it keeps taking off, I think it’s pretty cool.”

Sugar N Glitz will also make custom orders available starting Oct. 16. For more information, contact the establishment at sugarnglitz@gmail.com or at (505)554-6175.

Matt Hollinshead | Staff writer