National Association of Professional Women Inducts Leila Tavakoli, Owner L.A. Bakery & Café, Into its VIP Professional Woman of the Year Circle

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Leila Tavakoli is selected for her outstanding leadership and commitment within her profession

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I try to have fun with food and I consider my employees to be part of my family.

The National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) honors Leila Tavakoli as a 2017-2018 inductee into its VIP Woman of the Year Circle. She is recognized with this prestigious distinction for leadership in entrepreneurship. NAPW is the nation’s leading networking organization exclusively for professional women, boasting more than 850,000 members, a thriving eChapter and over 200 operating Local Chapters.

“I’m pleased to welcome Leila into this exceptional group of professional women,” said NAPW President Star Jones. “Her knowledge and experience in her industry are valuable assets to her company and community.”

It was the economic downturn of 2008 and the support and encouragement of her husband that inspired Leila Tavakoli to open a bakery. “My husband got laid off from his structural engineering job in 2008 when the economy crashed and I had my Applied Chemical Engineering degree and also my culinary school degree,” Ms. Tavakoli recalled. Unable to find a job in the chemistry field, she decided to turn her talent for baking into a full-time career. Starting out small, Ms. Tavakoli produced baked goods and sold them to local supermarkets, restaurants and cafés. “Eventually, we grew and expanded the business to wholesale and retail,” she said.

As the Owner of L.A. Bakery & Café, which is located in Carson City, NV, Ms. Tavakoli is responsible for its day-to-day operations. Among the products she offers are wedding and special occasion cakes, pies, tarts and breads, along with a full breakfast and lunch menu. Citing confidence as one of her skills, she works hard to maintain her composure when things go wrong and always treats her employees with kindness and respect. “I try to have fun with food and I consider my employees to be part of my family,” she said.

An important goal of Ms. Tavakoli’s is to maintain the quality and consistency of her products so customers are always happy. “Food is very tricky and each person has a different taste and opinion about food,” she noted. “For example, if you make a simple omelet with only eggs, bacon and cheese, each cook can make it slightly different. So, to be consistent and have everyone make it one way is always challenging.”

L.A. Bakery & Café is continuing to grow. “We are expanding our existing place to 2500 square foot and it will be ready, hopefully, by August,” said Ms. Tavakoli. “It will serve about 84 customers inside and there will be a 25-30 person sitting area on the patio.”

Awards & Accomplishments:
B.S., Azad University, Applied Chemical Engineering; Culinary School

About NAPW
NAPW’s mission is to provide an exclusive, highly advanced networking forum to successful women executives, professionals and entrepreneurs where they can aspire, connect and achieve. Through innovative resources, unique tools and progressive benefits, professional women interact, exchange ideas, advance their knowledge and empower one another.

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Lisa Mancuso
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