3/17/2011 Waukesha Freeman Article on Becky’s Blissful Bakery

DREAMING IN CARAMEL

Becky’s Blissful Bakery discovers culinary success

By Steven Snyder
Special to The Freeman

PEWAUKEE – The recipe behind Becky’s Blissful Bakery’s success is surely a familiar one for all small businesspeople: A pound of skill, a pint of creativity and just a pinch of sweet, unrefined luck.
It was late 2008, when Scarberry says she found herself opening up a temporary kiosk at Southridge Mall, selling holiday shoppers her one and only culinary staple: caramel. Recently divorced, unemployed and on the hunt for a job, Scarberry had started baking and selling delectables as a three-hour-a-week hobby. But by New Year’s Day 2009, the tasty treats emerged as a part-time job.
Flash forward a year, and by mid-2010 Becky’s Blissful Bakery evolved into a fully-realized small business. Now with one full-time and two parttime employees, as well as an array of distribution agreements, Scarberry’s sweets can be found in more commercial outlets than ever before.
“It’s pretty cool, how all of this has happened in such a short span of time,” Scarberry said, looking back on her three years of growth. “I found a job last year, but things got so busy that I actually gave notice to focus on the bakery. And that says it all right there – this is almost the worst economy we’ve ever had, where 90 percent of new businesses fail, but I was at that pivotal moment in my life where this would have been one of my biggest regrets, to not fully devote myself.”
Judging by the customer response, she gambled wisely. A big early partnership for the bakery was with Milwaukee’s Lakefront Brewery, as Scarberry used the business’ brews to create a beer pretzel caramel. A Brewery customer enjoyed the nibble so much that he decided to send them out as holiday gifts to his clients – and one of those clients, Rishi Tea, has now partnered with Becky’s in crafting chai tea caramels made with Rishi Tea concentrate.
“Everything keeps taking me down the same path,” Scarberry said. “I had actually left Rishi numerous messages, wanting to do this. And then finally I just decided to buy the tea concentrate and show them just how delicious this could be. So I baked it and was driving down to their office. While I was driving I received an e-mail from Rishi, telling me how delicious my beer pretzel caramel was. I was only a couple minutes from the front door – the coincidences have been remarkable.”
Today, Scarberry’s magic can be found on the shelves of Sendiks, Piggly Wiggly, Good Harvest Market and also a co-op in Oregon. Around the holidays, she says her out-ofstate phone orders surge. An upcoming issue of Imbibe magazine is set to single her out as a caramel connoisseur. Scarberry says she recently attended her first bridal show in downtown Milwaukee, touting her treats to the matrimony market. She makes it all sound so simple. But then again, as any good chef knows, cream has a way of rising to the top.

 

Charles Auer/Freeman Staff
Rebecca Scarberry cuts sea salt caramels at Becky’s Blissful Bakery in Pewaukee.The bakery produces a range of organic caramels, including a beer and pretzel caramel made with Lakefront Brewery Organic ESB beer. All the ingredients used are organic.