She wants to make sure everyone has dessert, even those who are down on their luck.
With her mission, the Sultan Galaxy Chocolates owner sweetens the pot for local nonprofits.
Paz every month gives away about $500 worth of her candies, cakes and culinary creations. Recipients of the chocolatier's charity include the Sky Valley Senior Center, the Sultan Food Bank and Seattle Children's Hospital.
"Can honestly tell you, I have a hard time saying no," she said with a laugh. "And I'm not going to start."
At Sultan Harvest, the community Thanksgiving meal, Paz made sure every person got a piece of pie.
The first year, she donated 20 pies. Paz, of Gold Bar, later found out some went without pie because no one else had provided desserts. She hauled in 44 pies last year, ensuring people topped off the holiday feast with a sweet treat. Paz expects to do the same this year.
"Thanksgiving dinner is just not complete until you have a slice of pie. That's all there is to it," Paz, 50, said. "Everybody needs dessert."
At Easter, Paz makes about 90 candy-filled baskets for the egg hunt in Gold Bar.
Sultan Elementary School students earn Galaxy Chocolate gift certificates for reading.
Paz was just 5 years old when she learned to cook alongside her grandmother.
"I've loved to bake my entire life," she said.
As a young woman, Paz took a cake decorator job at a grocery store. She was fired two weeks later for being too slow.
Still, she kept at it. Paz got another grocery store gig. This time she sped up, turning out more than two dozen cakes an hour.
When her daughter was born, Paz taught herself how to make hand-molded chocolates and candy during the baby's naptime.
"I wasn't going to end up one of those housewives, sitting on the couch watching soaps and eating bonbons," the mother of two said. "That's just not me."
One day while making candy, a friend dropped by and discovered Paz had a tasty talent. The friend brought Paz's chocolate to work and returned with $500 in orders.
In 2004, she started selling her creations out of Celestial Coffee in Startup.
Paz then moved her kitchen to Main Street in Sultan in 2012. Though she arrives to start her 14-hour day at Galaxy every morning at 3 a.m., Paz still finds time to cook up her charitable contributions.
She even makes sure a homeless man has dessert. Paz gives him day-old cookies, free coffee and helps with other needs.
"It puts a smile on my face," she said. "To help out, makes me feel warm inside."
Amy Nile: 425-339-3192; firstname.lastname@example.org
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