Purple Elephant Cakes: The story behind a popular Litchfield Park bakery

Colorful costume cakes are Jin Hee Sonu's specialty.

Her bakery, Purple Elephant Cakes in Litchfield Park, is far from her native country of South Korea.

"I was pretty good at school so my parents had high hopes for me to be a lawyer, or working for Samsung, but I always liked to do this - my parents never really approved it," Sonu said.

Jin Hee says she gave the corporate world a try, but after a year she packed her bags and moved to New York to attend culinary school.

"[The ]first month of my culinary school, I didnt talk much because I didnt know how to speak much," Jin Hee said.

The Korean native learned English, learned how to bake and before long she opened her first successful shop with a former classmate.

"Our first shop was in [the] Upper East Side, 82nd Street between Lexington and right by the Metro Museum. It was our baby," Jin Hee said.

She then moved to San Francisco with her husband.

"At the time in New York, he had a business... importing furniture from Italy ... and he hated his job, too," Sonu explained. "He always wanted to do Taekwondo."

Then came the move to Arizona.

"There was a business opportunity - he could take over a Taekwondo studio for almost nothing, so he's like, 'Okay, we're going to go to the desert," the baker said.

Jin Hee wasn't sure about the heat and wide-open spaces, but before long she settled into her new space. Now she's reopening a third location for the Purple Elephant.

Litchfield Park has been home to Purple Elephant Cakes since 2017, and while Jin Hee doesn't know where life will take her next, she's happy to be baking here.

Sonu's daughter Annie named the bakery Purple Elephant Cakes after her favorite color and animal. The 14-year-old works in the shop with her mother when she's not in school.

Visit the bakery's website here: https://www.purpleelephantcakes.com/