As I made my way through the crowd of vendors along Seventh Street in November, I remember one specific booth caught my eye.
It was a bright pink table decorated with a neon light and metallic pink streamers hung from the top. A woman stood behind the booth, wearing a frilly pink dress with matching bows in her hair, selling cakes featuring designs of Hello Kitty and the Powerpuff Girls.
Without even seeing the sign, I knew it was Chez Peachy.
Christa Lebron’s work has become instantly recognizable in Tucson. Her brightly colored heart-shaped lunchbox-sized cakes are decorated with swirls of frosting along the border and topped with pearls and glitter, making her goodies the perfect grid post for your Instagram profile.
After years of popping up at local markets and hosting workshops, Lebron is ready to hit the road, serving up her iconic bento cakes in a bright pink food truck.
Growing up in Montreal, Canada, Lebron began baking at 13 years old after watching and learning from her mother. The mother-daughter hobby soon became a passion and she brought cupcakes to all of her brother’s football games.
Years later, Lebron met her husband, Joe, and they moved to Tucson in 2020. It’s hard to believe that starting a cake business wasn’t her initial plan. As an early childhood education major, Lebron wanted to work with kids and became a nanny for three families.
But at a certain point, she felt like she was lacking creative drive and decided to get back into baking cupcakes as a part-time gig. Eventually both Lebron and her husband quit their jobs and decided to pursue baking as full-time.
As a baby, Lebron was lovingly referred to as peachy by her father, due to her plump cheeks. Wanting to pay homage to her French roots from her hometown, Lebron named her cake business Chez Peachy. In French, “chez” translates to “at the home,” so Chez Peachy literally means “at peachy’s house.”
“My second language is French. So I want to really highlight that part of my life within my business,” Lebron said. “So if I'm going to say ‘I'm at peach's place’ in French, I'm going to say ‘chez peachy.’”
From a young age, Lebron had always been someone who was quirky, bubbly and never afraid to be colorful, painting designs on her skirts and dresses to make them more unique or pairing her outfits with a crazy hairstyle. When she started Chez Peachy, she knew she wanted to include the vibrant, loud colors and designs she loves.
“With this business, I wanted my younger self, like baby peachy, to feel alive with the business and that's what I want people to see,” Lebron said. “Everything that represents me as a human being is colorful, vibrant, bright, happy and joyful and that's what we want the brand to exude to people.”
With a name and brand in mind, Chez Peachy was up and running by 2021, with Lebron doing the baking while Joe handled the business side. She began making her 6- and 8-inch cakes, transforming each dessert into her customer’s wildest dreams.
Through studying videos of people frosting and decorating cakes, Lebron was able to learn how to perfectly embellish her cakes, specializing in vintage cake designs that include frilly ruffles and pretty piping.
Scrolling through her Instagram, you will see a heart-shaped cake with an edible picture of Lana Del Rey in the center, pink cakes decorated with 3D butterflies and mini disco balls and there’s even a purple and gold cake with a swirly icing border around a picture of Lebron James screaming.
Lebron is commonly known for her mini cakes that she takes to markets, also known as a bento cake. These cakes come in three flavors: funfetti, Oreo and strawberry. Though they are smaller, they often include the sugar paper designs of Hello Kitty, Snoopy, Barbie and Bratz, staying true to her colorful image.
In addition to her cakes, Lebron also offers cookies, which seem to be most popular with the boyfriends and husbands of her customers. Her kawaii cookies come shaped as frogs, bears, peaches and Hello Kitty, sure to put a smile on anyone’s face before they take a big bite.
Typically, Lebron is making around 80 to 100 cakes each week. She begins her week by baking the cakes, which are able to stay in the freezer without jeopardizing their velvety texture. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are dedicated to icing and decorating each cake.
Finally, the last half of the week is when Lebron bakes and decorates her kawaii cookies. Then she packs it all up and takes her masterpieces to local pop-ups and markets around town. Not to mention she is also constantly filming her hilarious Instagram videos on top of baking.
With love in the air this month, Lebron is expecting to push out around 200 cakes for the lovebirds requesting her heart-shaped cakes for their special someone.
“I mean, I’m happy to be busy,” Lebron said. “It can be challenging at times, but I can't say I'm complaining about it.”
Not only is she constantly baking, but Lebron is also out in the community hosting workshops at various local hotspots, such as Creative Kind, Di Luna and The Monica. At these workshops, she walks her attendees through decorating their own bento cakes, so they can live their own Chez Peachy fantasy.
“When I started doing workshops, I thought it was something that's a little more outside of the box versus just seeing people at pop-ups,” Lebron said. “I think it's a great way to connect on a deeper level with my customers versus a quick hello and goodbye.”
She even launched a fake cake collection this year, which featured cowboy hats, mirrors and jewelry boxes that she decorated to look exactly like her vibrant cakes.
With all the growth Lebron has seen in the past year, she and Joe decided they needed to start supplying their cakes on a larger scale. Taking a leap of faith, they got a food truck to help build their empire.
They found the perfect trailer and customized it in true Chez Peachy fashion. The truck is bright pink and features her logo along with disco ball peaches and cherries designed by No Bad Days.
“It turned out 10 times better than I ever imagined,” Lebron said. “When I look at it, I just get so happy.”
Lebron is hoping to hit the road around March or April, serving up glittery bento cakes around town in her usual eye-catching fashion. Lebron is truly taking over Tucson one pink bow at a time.
“The thing I love most about Chez Peachy is that I get to be myself, unapologetically me,” Lebron said. “The business, the brand, the people and everything tied to Chez Peachy gives me bliss. There's just like dopamine running through my veins when I think of my business.”
Keep up with Chez Peachy's pop-ups, workshops and food truck on Instagram.