The daughter of a retired US Air Force Master Sargent, Shirley Hughes is a native of Cebu City, Philippines and has lived in Japan, California, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Because of her multi-cultural background, Shirley has experienced and has been exposed to many different aspects of the culinary world. In 2011, Shirley opened Sweet Cheats, a small specialty bakery because of her love of desserts as her cheat meal during her years in the fitness industry. In 2017, Shirley opened her second location in Marietta. Inspired by her family and friends, she finds time to support volunteer opportunities and collaborates with a number of small community-based businesses on projects and festivals. Shirley received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History at the College of Charleston which she uses many of her artistic techniques into her desserts.