Catching Up with Portland’s Newest Sugar Maven
MIP: How did you get started with baking?
Through all my years of schooling, I loved any project I was able to make something with my hands. You would never catch me dead doing Math or Science homework. Literally.
I never did it.
When it was time to go to college I was very excited to make new friends, move to a new place and go somewhere that no one knew who I was. Growing up in a small town that sounded really nice.
I went to Weber State University in Ogden, UT for Visual Arts.
Took 0 art classes.
Made 0 friends.
I went home after one term.
After that, I went to Western Oregon University for Early Education. I thought hey, I love kids. They think I’m cool because I look like a cartoon character.
Let’s do this!!
I went there for about a year and a half.
Made more friends.
Got oddly obsessed with working out.
And ate a lot of butternut squash.
(It’s a great oatmeal alternative.)
I was having fun, but felt so lost.
I dropped out of Western Oregon.
Moved back to my moms in Amity, OR.
That summer of 2014 I made it my goal to figure my life out.
My favorite thing to do when I was feeling down was to bake. I would bake chocolate chip cookies for myself on the regular and birthday cakes for my friends and family. I loved the feeling it gave me when I created something from scratch. Created something with my hands.
I remember this so vividly. My mom came into my room, sat down on my bed with a folder full of papers and said she was sending me to Military School.
She said I should look into going to Culinary School for baking and pastry.
Culinary School?! I honestly didn’t even think that was a thing for people who wanted to pursue baking. You can go to school JUST for baking? How is that a thing? It sounded like a dream come true, like yes! That’s what I want to do.
I applied the next day and got into the Oregon Culinary Institute and I started in September 2014 and finished April 2015. Got a sweet lil diploma in Baking & Pastry. It was really hard work. I ate sooo much food.
My arms are now permanently scarred with burn marks, but it was definitely worth it.
That whole summer of 2015 I decided I wanted to sell baked goods at a local Farmers Market because I wanted to work for myself, not for anyone else. I catered two weddings that summer and I also delivered bread, pies, and cakes to people’s houses.
MIP: Tell us a little bit more about running your own business, and your favorite treat to bake?
One of the main things truly important to me is using local, organic ingredients or ingredients made in Oregon.
I think it’s very important to support your local farmers and buy produce from them right when it’s fresh. I’m also a huge advocate for supporting your community.
One of my favorite cakes I’ve ever made and my most requested one to make is my Strawberry Shortcake Cake.
I made this cake for my best friends wedding when I was taking a baking break. I posted it on my Instagram and it’s what all everyone wants for their wedding this summer! That cake is so special to me.
I honestly can’t even explain the amount of love and support I’ve gotten from my community already. For now, I have 10 wedding cakes booked for this summer.
I have a birthday cake or treats to make every week. I’m getting busier and busier and I’m absolutely obsessed with it. I will never get sick of baking because it is my passion and my love.
MIP: What advice do you have for people who also want to turn their passion into a career?
This is what I tell people who want to follow their passion: When you are truly called to do something everything will fall into place. Don’t feel like you have to take the traditional routes for education and don’t feel insecure for wanting to do something you love. People love people who are authentic and true to themselves. Do something that makes you feel proud and full.