| Carsen Smithwick

Meet Honey Bee Baking Co.

Kait Culy of Honey Bee Baking Co. specializes in all things ooey, gooey, and delicious. Ever since she was a little girl, Kait has dreamed of having her own bakery. She even recalls as a toddler wearing a shorts and sweater set designed with little girls making cupcakes in a bakery. In fact, much of what she owned had sweets and baked goods printed on it. However, it wasn’t until 2021 after her daughter was born that she started taking baking seriously. While she was on maternity leave, she started honing her skills, being the happiest she’s ever been while baking any and everything. After her son was born in April, she left her 8-year career in Environmental, Health, and Safety in the chemical manufacturing industry to pursue her baking passion. Now, she’s a staple at Local Pop Up markets, and she doesn’t plan on looking back anytime soon.

Kait learned how to cook by treating cookbooks like they’re textbooks. Since baking is highly scientific and technical, she’s able to apply her science-based bachelors and master’s degrees. She also learns by spending hours reading cookbooks to understand the why of baking to help her execute her bakes to the best of her ability. Anytime something messes up, she always dedicates time researching why in order to fix it for next time. Kait, however, didn’t really take baking from scratch seriously until after her daughter was born. Before that, she would bake on and off, particularly in college when she would bake for her football friends.

Kait gets recipe inspiration from many sources, like John Kanell of Preppy Kitchen and King Arthur Baking, whom she would love to work for as a recipe blogger. She also  gets design inspirations from different bakers she stumbles upon on Instagram and Facebook. Kait even looks up to many local bakers, like Sarah of Counterspace, Amelia of Lundi Baking Co., and Robyn of Cupcake Junkie. They are all representations of a bakery and business that Kait would love to embody. She has a few bakes that she’s most proud of from everything she has learned. Design wise, she is most proud of a dusty rose burgundy Lambeth cake. Her favorite technical bake was a cinnamon raisin swirl bread she made a few years ago. Her favorite bake overall is a specialty-made box full of gluten free Berry Chantilly cake and gluten free chocolate cupcakes that she was proud of both the design, and the fact she was able to make it for a customers' fiancé’s surprise party. Innovation wise, she is most proud of her chocolate chip Nutella cookies that she not only knocked out of the park on the first try, but has also become a huge fan favorite of hers. The thing she likes working on the most is bread. To her, there is nothing more satisfying and beautiful than a good yeasted bread that took a lot of time and love to make. Even though bread isn’t on her menu, she loves making cinnamon rolls for markets or speciality orders. Eventually, she would love to have her own bakery/coffee shop where she can offer breads and pastries, like danishes, pain au chocolat, and kouign-amann.

At Local Pop Up markets, she’s not able to leave her tent too often because of her little sidekick, Emmett. But, when she gets the chance, she loves checking out The Lost Luna’s unique and special art, Art by Artemis Solas’s art (Kait can’t wait to meet her newest market baby!), and Plantérature’s tent for the vibes. She said if she could, she would just curl up at their tent with a coffee from City Roots and a book. She also loves stopping by Leslie’s Pretty Prickly Pot Plants and hopes she’s brave enough one day to adopt one of her succulents. When considering a collaboration, she’s all for the creativity challenge with each maker. She thinks she would work best with Arid Flowers by Angie, making some dainty cupcakes or bento cakes with Swiss meringue buttercream and pressed edible flowers provided by Angie. She would also love working with Basic Bee’s honey to create boldly flavored scones or biscuits.

Some advice Kait would give to someone starting or working on their baking journey is to just keep going! She says that imposter syndrome is more than likely inevitable, and can be a strong feeling. If you know you have a quality product, don’t give up! If you’re just baking for fun, try to master a recipe before you move on so you don’t get overwhelmed. Once you’ve mastered a recipe, it’s a lot easier to deviate from it to create your own spin. If you’re trying to start your own business, make sure to take your time doing homework to identify everything you need to get off the ground. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help! Kait says she has met so many new friends and acquaintances in and out of the Local Pop Up family that are always more than happy to help. Everyone is new at some point, and Kait’s found majority of business owners are happy to help out where they can.

You can find Kait, her little sidekicks, and her delicious treats at our last Local Pop Up market of the year on December 16th from 10am-2pm!

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