From the City of Angels to Miracle City

How trading celebrities for baking is bringing a fame of its own

Two friends went from making the faces of celebrities beautiful to making beautiful baked treats for the residents of Conroe to form a business, Miracle City Bakery. Meet Matthew Vanleeuwen and Yolanda Mata (she goes by Yoliglo) of Miracle City Bakery.

Matthew first learned how to do makeup while he was busy getting a degree in advertising. The coed dorm he lived in provided an abundance of faces for practice. Once graduated, he moved to DC and found himself doing a little advertising and a whole lot of makeup. This led to an eventual move to New York City, where he did makeup for publicists and editors, and eventually Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Lopez. Work exploded for him in Los Angeles, and he worked with Lopez for seven years.

Through makeup gigs, Matthew met Yoliglo, who was doing facials for big names in Hollywood. The two became best friends and spent a lot of time together. A year before they made the move to Texas, Matthew and Yoliglo even ended up in the same apartment complex and were at each other's houses daily.

After COVID hit, the two found themselves ready for a change, desiring a quieter and simpler lifestyle. Yoliglo's family lives in Conroe, so they decided to move here. They loaded up all their belongings, plus two cats, and moved to Texas together.

Once in our Miracle City, Matthew said he didn't have much to do, so he "was baking like a crazy person." As a result of giving his creations away to friends and connecting with others at the Farmer's Market in downtown Conroe, Matthew was asked to be the baker at the former MoCo Food Hall. And Viola, Miracle City Bakery was born. If you ever stopped by the coffee shop at MoCo Food Hall, all the yummy treats in the cake stands were courtesy of Miracle City Bakery.

While running a bakery business might have been a new experience, Matthew has been baking for over 15 years and has many tricks up his sleeve. "I have a crust obsession. Anything that has a crust- I'm in," he says. That includes pies, lemon bars, and craft sourdough bread.

While their first offerings were created around the coffee shop, the bakery is now expanding its horizons. Since the beginning, it has been just the two of them and their four hands creating all the baked goods, but growth means they'll be adding to their team in the near future. Recently, they have been out at both the Conroe and New Caney Farmer's Markets, where happy customers drive for miles to get their hands on some of their most popular items like French Pastry Pop Tarts and Pecan Sandies. Soon, you'll be able to find them in their own commercial kitchen space and storefront. In the meantime, come by downtown Conroe on Saturdays from 10 AM to 2 PM or New Caney every other Sunday to see them. You can also shoot them a DM on Instagram and place an order directly.

So, what do Matthew and Yoliglo like best about their new Texas home? Matthew says, "The spirit of the holidays is really alive in Texas and in Conroe." The enthusiasm makes it fun to bake items centered around those events, like the beautiful, heart-shaped pop-tarts Miracle City Bakery created for Valentine's Day. Another holiday favorite is the Christmas Toffee Bark (made with chocolate, pecans, and toffee). It is a delicious Christmas treat!

As for baking, Matthew says, "I just kind of caught the bug," and Conroe should be glad he did. Follow Miracle City Bakery on Instagram at @miraclecitybakery, Matthew at @MakeupMatthew, and Yoliglo at @yoliglo.

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