>BEHIND THE SCENES with 2tarts Bakery & Catering
by Sherry Hardwick
Grandma baked because she loved you. Cakes, pies, cookies made from scratch with no recipe in sight. Gobs of butter and mounds of flour with sprinkles of sugary splendor were her trademarks. Her kitchen filled your heart and head with scents of cinnamon and nutmeg and the anticipation of a fork full of gooey goodness. Tiered cake stands always occupied, cookie jars always full and never a reprimand for seconds or thirds. Grandmas are like that.
MY Grandma was never like this but a girl can dream, can’t she? Tough to admit but an entire generation was raised by elves. Keebler Elves. Sure, my mom had a mixer and measuring cups, but they were used for ‘special’ occasions like Dad’s birthday Angel Food Cake from a box.
Some families, I understand, grow up in the kitchen together. Dads teach how to flip pancakes at the stove, grandmas play café with their granddaughters, moms turn cooking into mini science lessons, sisters spend time making menus after menus. And sometimes, I understand, kids who grow up this way go to fabulous cooking schools in exotic lands. And if we are all really, really lucky they move back home and open an adorable little store full of wonderful things baked with love.
Well New Braunfels, we all owe sisters April Weilbacher and Ashley Williams a big THANK YOU for doing just that. Their delightful bakery and catering company is called 2tarts and while these 20somethings don’t look like grandma they have her work ethic and high quality standards. “We have an appreciation of things from the past,” Ashley says. “We wanted a place where people could slow down and enjoy life.”
They have paid their dues the past year shuffling in and out of shared commercial kitchen spaces for catering events and pounding the pavement getting their name heard. (Can you imagine packing up an entire kitchen every day? I get tired just loading the dishwasher.) A home is what 2tarts needed and a home is what they found.
“It was serendipity,” April says with a smile and a sigh. “Natalie Wiggins and her father Pat Wiggins have been so encouraging and given us such confidence.” Located across from McAdoo’s Seafood Company on Castell Street this back-to-basics bakery with its retro inspired colors and vibe is in the heart of New Braunfels. “Finally we can have friends over. It was so lonely without a home.”
Can’t imagine them being lonely now. On a regular old Thursday in September you will find mothers enjoying boutique coffees brewed to order as their toddlers nap in strollers, April helping a bride-to-be narrow down fabulous menu selections for the big event, Ashley waving to familiar joggers passing the large welcoming window as she refills the cases with daily specials. The record player in the corner is turning out tunes from times gone by. Grandma would really like it here. You will, too.