Cici once had a giant order of 200 chocolate-covered strawberries which took hours to complete, but it was all worth it.

By Makenzie Atkins

If you’re looking for a sweet treat it’s time to try shopping from Cici’s Covered Strawberries, a local student’s business at Riverview High School.

Xyomora Santiago, also known as Cici, was looking for a fun way to make some extra money as a 15-year-old freshman in high school. With her love for baking and creating sweet treats, she took a chance at selling chocolate-covered strawberries. She started a business known as Cici’s Covered Strawberries and has started to expand her menu.

Cici worked hard at creating chocolate-covered strawberries that she was confident in and feels like her skills have progressed. Happy with her progress, Cici has decided to add things like marshmallow cereal treats, hot chocolate bombs and many other goodies that can be smothered in chocolate.

Cici prioritizes her schooling and works hard to balance time with her business. With many of her customers being fellow high school students, she knows they understand that sometimes she has to direct more of her focus on school.

“Despite the fact that I absolutely love what I do, I find myself taking a break from my business sometimes, to catch up with those grades, of course,” said Cici, “but it never seems to change anything with my customers.”

Cici’s treats are great for birthdays, anniversaries or even just to sit and enjoy for yourself. Along with the regular menu items, she also offers special occasion boxes like homecoming proposals or holiday-themed treats and can spell out short phrases on top of the strawberries.

Cici, now a 17-year-old junior who graduates in 2023, is so proud to see how far she has come in just under two years with her small business and is excited to see where it goes in the future. She is eager to go to college and hopes to major in business management so she can learn more. Cici’s biggest dream is to one day open her own store front right in Tampa to continue growing into something bigger.

For more information or to order treats, please contact Cici at 550-9897 or find Cici’s Covered Strawberries at @ciciscoveredstrawberries on Instagram and Facebook.

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