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Local bakeries offer sweet holiday treats

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, let’s talk sweets! Nothing says “I love you” like surprising that special someone with their favorite treat. And now more than ever—with so many small businesses operating at lower capacity and with employees working from home—shopping local is a wonderful way we can give back and support folks in our communities.

MidSouth Electric Co-op recently had the pleasure of getting to know some local home-baking professionals in Montgomery County, and boy, were we sad we couldn’t taste test their products in person!

If you’re not near Montgomery County and these local bakers, be sure to search social media to find other delicious home-baked options in your area.

Bessie Bakes

Bessie Bakes

Bessie Bakes
Facebook:
Bessie Bakes
Instagram: @MsBessieBakes

Elizabeth Botkin explains what inspired her home-baking business:

I have always been a baker. Ever since I can remember, I would help my mom and Mimi bake all sorts of goodies. I started baking cookies for fun in 2015, and after posting an order I did for a friend on Facebook in September of 2015, Bessie Bakes took off. I have never questioned my decision to bake cookies for others, and at my core I knew (and still to this day know) that it is what I have been called to do. There is a certain affirmation that comes from this type of peace of knowing that you are doing what you have been called to do.

Why is shopping local so important to you and your community?

Through shopping small I have been able to pour back into my community and its local business owners. It truly does take a village, and when we are able to give back to our communities, they are then able to thrive. Because so many have shopped small and local with me and my little bakery, I have been able to thrive and serve others in ways that I would never have imagined. In addition to serving others, I have made so many new and lasting relationships with so many people from all over the country. People are of the utmost importance, and being able to meet and work with others to create something special for them really is what this is all about.

What is your most requested item or your specialty?

My specialty item and most requested are my decorated vanilla sugar cookies. I have been asked on occasion to make cupcakes and to do some more rustic-style cakes and pies.

Bessie Bakes

Bessie Bakes

What ideas are you planning for Valentine’s Day?

I love doing holiday cookies! I will run a special on sets of 12 Valentine’s Day cookies—they will be a combination of hearts and other fun shapes! I might, if I am feeling ambitious, run a special on some Valentine’s Day-themed “You’re the Bomb” hot chocolate bombs.

What is the most rewarding part of your business?

I am thankful to have a talent that I am able to share with others to help bring a little something extra to their events and celebrations. When the days are long and orders are large and seem never-ending, the reactions from my clients when they see the cookies (or other baked items) and their kind words always make my heart happy and help me to remember why I do this and that, yes, though I might be sleep deprived, it is always worth it!

Fun Facts From Bessie Bakes

  • I am the whole operation of Bessie Bakes, a real one-woman show!
  • My biggest order to date is 836 cookies (done in five days).
  • My favorite types of orders are baby showers.
  • I love when I am given a vague idea and told to run with it.
  • Most of my ideas come in the middle of the night.
  • My day job is a high school science teacher at Klein ISD and the assistant swim coach at my high school.
  • I have over 1,500 cookie cutters and have a whole custom wall devoted to storing them.

Special: Reference this article and receive $5 off a Valentine’s Day set from Bessie Bakes!

Pies By Tess

Pies By Tess

Pies By Tess
Facebook:
Pies By Tess
Phone: (936) 522-7945

Tess Strong told us how she got into the business of selling pies:

”My love for baking really fired up when my blackberry pie won Grand Champion at the Montgomery County Fair back in 2014. After I won it really motivated me to bake and be really good at it. Word got around, and at the age of 14, I was making hundreds of mini pies every weekend for a local farm.

“Here I am years later, and I still bake pies for holidays, birthdays and any special occasion that you might have.

“I’m so thankful that all of my customers are choosing to support me as a local at-home baker versus saving some money to get a less-quality, mass-produced pie elsewhere. My customers are amazing, and I’m truly thankful that I’m able to stay home with my little boy and still be able to run a successful business in my spare time.

“If you would like to order a pie for your loved one this Valentine’s Day or any other special occasion, feel free to message me on Facebook or give me a call!

“Make sure to tell me you saw my ad in Texas Co-op Power for a free mini pie with purchase!”

Sifting Grace Bakery

Sifting Grace Bakery

Sifting Grace Bakery
Facebook: SGBakeryMontgomery
Instagram: @siftinggracebakery
Email: siftinggracebakery@gmail.com

What inspired your home-baking business?

My journey into baking starts back in my grandma’s kitchen as a young girl. I can vividly remember baking my first cake with her. It was a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream icing for my cousin’s birthday. Ever since then baking has been my passion. Over the years I have loved baking sweet treats for friends and family. Earlier this year I felt God leading me to pursue my passion, and Sifting Grace Bakery was born. Whether it’s a birthday, a holiday or just satisfying your sweet tooth, I continue to put the same love and passion into each item I bake.

Why is shopping local so important to you and your community?

By shopping local you not only get goods and services, but you build relationships and contribute to the economic success of your community.

What is your most requested item or your specialty?

Jumbo chocolate chip cookies and German chocolate Bundt cakes are customer favorites.

Do you have any big plans, ideas or specials you are planning for Valentine’s Day?

For Valentine’s Day I will be offering 8-inch, decorated red velvet Bundt cakes ($25) and packs of six jumbo chocolate chip cookies ($12).

What is the most rewarding part of your business?

The appreciation and loyalty the community has exhibited is what I hold dear to my heart. I will forever be grateful for the support I receive from my customers.

Fun Facts From Sifting Grace Bakery

  • Lauren Anderson is the owner and baker of Sifting Grace Bakery in Montgomery.
  • She is a believer, a wife, a mom to two crazy but beautiful children and an Aggie. Whoop!
  • She is a supply chain analyst by day and a baker by night.