VALPARAISO – This woman bakes decorates and delivers, all under one roof.
Desiree Rezac has always loved to bake and now she has taken that passion to a place where her bakery is on wheels.
It all began 10 years ago when her daughter was diagnosed with food allergies.
“My oldest daughter has a life-threatening allergy to peanuts. When she was turning 1, I found myself struggling to find a cake safe for her.”
Rezac said because most bakeries also use peanuts in other baked goods, the risk for cross contamination is too high.
“I decided I needed to start making sweets and treats that were safe for her so she wouldn’t miss out on all the wonderful things other kids get to enjoy,” she said. “I have dedicated my bakery as peanut-free. It is safe for her to be in with me and also to eat anything I make.”
Rezac said there are no risks for cross contamination because absolute nothing she uses has peanuts.
“Needless to say I read a lot of labels,” she said.
Rezac’s fondest memory of baking is with her family at her great aunt’s house with both her grandma and mother.
“I watched them make rosettes just before Christmas,” she said. “They would make 5,000 rosettes to hand out over the holidays to family and friends.”
Rezac said each year just before Thanksgiving her grandma would bring over several dozen rosettes to her home so they could enjoy them during the holidays.
“I was lucky enough to inherit those very irons and I use them as much as I can,” she said. “It’s not Christmas without at least four dozen rosettes.”
Rezac said her husband always gives her a hard time about her cooking process and how she rarely measures her ingredients.
“It’s a trait I have learned from his mother and grandma,” she said. “In fact, his mom owned the Val Tavern for nearly 30 years and boy does she know how to cook.”
Rezac said her first interaction with her husband’s grandma was on Thanksgiving when she was a bright eyed 18-year-old girl who didn’t know her way around a kitchen.
“Boy did she make sure I was right in the mix peeling potatoes and helping,” she said.
Over the years Rezac said her best cooking lesson is that measurements and recipes are really just suggestions.
“It’s more important to look for texture changes or to taste test to get it just right,” she said. “Because there are so many variables that can make a recipe not work with just one cup measured out.”
Rezac said her favorite thing to do is to hand pipe buttercream flowers.
“I turn on some music and really get in the zone when I am piping cakes,” she said.
“Sometimes I almost get carried away with too many flowers. You’d be surprised how many things you can make with butter cream.”
Rezac said being mobile is a big positive for her business.
“I can take it to craft fairs or vendor events and just set up shop and bake all day long,” she said. “The aroma of fresh baked goods really draws people in.”
Rezac said she has everything that a normal storefront bakery would have except on a smaller scale.
“It’s small, compact and the startup cost was a lot cheaper than a store front,” she said.
Sometimes Rezac said the weather makes it hard for a number of reasons.
“Extreme cold and heat affect how I operate,” she said. “In the winter I have to make sure to drain every drop of water out of my pipes when I am done to avoid frozen or bursting pipes. And in the heat of summer the little window AC has a hard time keeping it cool when I am working with buttercream.”
Rezac said although the trailer doesn’t allow for her to have a storefront type business where she has open hours with the opportunity to sell what she makes daily, for now she loves what she does.
“My business is more a made-to-order type business model,” she said. “I like to tackle new recipes and master them then move on to the next. I won’t stop until I get it right. My husband and kids get a lot of taste testing jobs.”