Business & Entrepreneurship

COVID carbs
Shortbread and milk bread bring together three alums.

By Jessica Koslow ’94 / January–March 2023
January 18th, 2023
Image of Betsy Seder, Ari Vena, and Diana Hyman Winters
Betsy Seder, Ari Vena, and Diana Hyman Winters, all ’94PHOTO: betsy seder ’94

The meaning of the Treat Collective, a virtual bake shop launched by three Los Angeles–based besties in December 2020, has layers. First, as in, “It is a total treat to work together!” says cofounder Ari Vena ’94, who was freshman roommates with Betsy Seder ’94, and in the band Sidemouse freshman year with Diana Hyman Winters ’94. Then there are the actual treats, like delicious and inventive shortbread, Seder’s specialty, and tender Japanese milk bread from Winters.

All three have day jobs—Vena at Spay Neuter Project of Los Angeles, Winters at UCLA Law School, and Seder as an artist and professor—but bonded over their love of food and baking for decades. Each toyed with the idea of starting a food-related business. Then COVID hit. “The Treat Collective provided a way for us to share something meaningful,” Seder says.

The Collective has promoted six drops so far, including raspberry rose shortbread for Valentine’s and brown butter krispy treats for spring. It has been challenging balancing it with everything else, Vena acknowledges: “Life sped up at a breakneck speed post-lockdown.” Info and special orders at

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Related Issue
January–March 2023