Katie Turner’s path to opening up her own shop began 10 years ago, and in just a few short weeks that will finally become a reality.
Sitting in the dining room of the soon-to-be-opened Cupcake’s Café downtown Wyoming, the locale for the old Bear Creek Café, Turner said there are a whirlwind of emotions in her mind.
“There’s fear, anxiety, excitement, joy. I mean, I’ll do happy dances, and then sometimes I’ll think ‘what did I get myself into?’” she said.
Turner said she was initially drawn to baking because it was something her grandmother always did. She started by making cakes for friends and family, before learning more about baking through craft classes and eventually going to pastry school in Chicago, graduating nine years ago. After completing that, she ran her cake business from out of her home and retrofitted a vintage camper to function as a sort of food truck for her cakes, which she’s operated for five years now.
In the past couple of years, as the business developed, she began weighing opening her own business. Despite some initial nerves about it, she decided to take the jump. Initially, she had gotten her application for a business loan denied and began picking up more hours at a part-time job to help make her dream a reality.
The perfect solution came two days after being denied, when she happened to drive by the old Bear Creek Café and came to an agreement to lease. The restaurant will be a cakery and café, with a wide variety of cakes and cupcakes to choose from.
Turner loves being able to experiment and offer new options.
“I always like trying something new,” she said. “Any way I can get creative, whether that be flavor or design…that’s where my favorite part comes in.”
Inspiration can come from anywhere, with seasonal and holiday offerings. Over the Fourth of July, she did a red, white and blue cupcake inspired by bomb pop popsicles with three different layers of flavors inside the cake. However, there will also be familiar favorites, including a red velvet cake that was a staple of her food truck.
While experimentation is fun, the biggest thrill she gets is seeing someone enjoy one of her creations.
In addition to the cakes lining the display case, the restaurant will be serving breakfast and lunch Friday through Monday and dinner on Fridays, a mix of family recipes and inspiration from fellow friends in the industry. During the summer months, Turner is hoping to have cookouts Friday evenings.
Those missing the old café will recognize some of the menu items. Turner and former café owner Joan Martensen talk constantly and have had a good relationship, so Turner will be serving some of the café’s old favorites using the Bear Creek recipes.
The gesture is just one example of the community support Turner said she’s received as she’s preparing to open the new business. That, more than anything during the preparation process, is what has really surprised her so far.
“The town’s been super supportive,” she said.
If things go well, Turner said she hopes to expand to offering delivery.
Before the restaurant opens, there’s still a bit of work to be done. If everything goes according to plan, Turner hopes the restaurant will be open Aug. 23.