Bloggers Turn Pro Bakers With Whisked
The turtle bar is one of the many sweets Whisked will sell at the 14th & U market.
Photos by Stephanie Willis
When the 14th & U Farmers Market opens for the season May 7, there will be a new vendor with a very sweet mission. And I'm counting on a new reason to get there early: homemade peanut caramel bars and molasses spice cookies.
Two well-known food bloggers are joining creative and culinary forces to launch Whisked!, a bakery crafting updated takes on classic American treats, from cakes and cookies to hand pies and savory tarts made with local ingredients.
With longtime dreams of becoming professional bakers, Jenna Huntsberger of Modern Domestic and Stephanie Willis of Adventures in Shaw took the plunge and will be selling their goods at the 14th & U market this season. (The market runs Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in front of the Reeves Center.)
Metrocurean asked the newly minted bakery owners a few questions about what they have in store.
Metrocurean: What made you want to start a baking business?
Stephanie: I have always loved to bake but put off doing it professional in pursuit of a more “practical” career. While I love what I do at my day job, the desire to bake was still such a huge part of me. And I just didn’t want to bake for myself — I loved watching the looks on my friends' and family’s face when they bit into something I made. There is no greater satisfaction than knowing I’ve brought joy to someone through my baking. When I saw Jenna pursuing her dream of becoming a professional baker, it gave me the courage to kick my baking up to a higher level.
Jenna: I’ve always loved baking and it’s always interested me more than anything else. When I was in college I always brought cakes to volunteer meetings — and I was always much more interested in what people thought about the cake than what happened at the meeting. Every baker dreams of starting a bakery, and when Stephanie told me about the opportunity to sell at the 14th and U farmers market, it just made sense. We both love baking, and with my experience and Stephanie’s organizational know-how, we make a great pair.
MC: Why launch Whisked at a farmers market?
Whisked: Robin Shuster [who runs the 14th & U market] suggested we consider selling at the farmers market last November, and it just clicked in our heads. There are so many bakeries around the country that got their start at a farmers market and that still sell there. S tephanie has always been a huge supporter of local farmers markets and it seemed to be such a natural fit. You get to interact with regular customers on a weekly basis and also can build relationships with the farmers and other vendors at the market.
MC: What types of foods will you be selling?
Whisked: Whisked! is all about celebrating the traditions of American baking. We’re taking classic American treats and updating them for modern tastes.
We will naturally be selling cookies, cakes and cupcakes but we will also be offering an array of bar cookies, savory tarts using local dairy and produce, sweet pies using local fruits and hand pies!
MC: Any personal favorites that you think people will be lining up for?
Stephanie: I really, really love our molasses spice cookies and our brownies. It takes a lot of restraint for me not to munch endlessly on both of them.
Jenna: I love our peanut caramel bars — it’s peanuts and homemade caramel tossed with salt, baked on a shortbread crust. It’s like a Pay Day, but much better. And I love our chocolate and vanilla cakes. People are so excited about cupcakes these days, but nothing beats a slice of excellent cake.
MC: Are you taking special orders in addition to selling at the market? How does that work?
Whisked: In addition to the farmers market, we will also have an online store where people can buy our products. They can pick up their orders at the farmers markets on Saturday. We also offer delivery within the DC metro area for orders of $50 or more.
MC: Any plans down the road for a bricks-and-mortar bakery?
Whisked: Right now we’re focusing on how things go at the market this first year. But never say never!
For more on Whisked, follow them on Twitter @whiskeddc or visit whiskeddc.com.