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Daily Inspiration: Meet Emily Atnip and Becky Waibel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Atnip and Becky Waibel.

Hi Emily and Becky, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
We are a mother-daughter-duo, so we both grew up in New Ulm. After earning a degree in education, Emily moved to Texas for 10 years to teach. She recently moved back to New Ulm 3 1/2 years ago with her husband and wanted to do something different. Becky is one of eight kids growing up on the family farm, she had plenty of experience baking almost nonstop for her appreciative brothers and sisters. Becky worked for Pioneer Catering at Martin Luther College in New Ulm for 25 years and has always had a passion for baking! She was always asked to bake for other people which is how she developed the idea of having a business but it wasn’t until Emily moved back they decided to start this new business adventure together. We bought a brick and mortar building which is a historical building and one of the oldest in New Ulm prior to the pandemic. It took over a year to get everything approved and up and running! We moved into the renovated kitchen space in September of 2020! We bake for all events-birthdays, baby and wedding showers, retirement parties, graduations, anniversaries, gender reveals, weddings, and more! We bake for pretty much every occasion you can think of because who doesn’t like a party or making each moment sweeter!!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not been a smooth road, but like everything else you keep pushing through! Neither of us has a business background, so starting a business was not in our wheelhouse! We had a few good people to help us through! My mom told me that if we wanted to start a business that it was on me! I just realized that I had to ask a lot of questions, and seek out the help we needed when it came to loans/banking/finances/taxes, writing up our business plan, mapping out the kitchen, getting state and local approval for everything, finding the equipment and so much more! There were many times when I wanted to quit, but on those days somehow another doorway would open and we would figure it out! The only thing we really knew was that my mom could bake and people loved what she baked!

Never did we imagine opening a business during a pandemic! COVID-19 caused widespread cancellations and rescheduling of events, we had to come up with a way to make money! Pop-up events, advertised via social media, proved to be outrageously popular.

Another change in our business plan which ended up being a blessing in disguise was that we wanted to start out being a coffee shop, but the pandemic forced us to change our plans when they wouldn’t allow indoor seating! We quickly realized our little shop couldn’t accommodate people and all of our supplies! So, we had what we now call our pop-ups which is where we post on social media that we will be open until sell-out! On one of those days, we have more than just our typical cupcakes, cookies, cake pops, and cookie sandwiches-scones, muffins, monkey bread, maple twist, bars, and many other baked treats that my mom’s mom use to bake that people no longer make!

Fast forward a year later and we now are seeing inflation in the cost of goods. We thought getting through a pandemic where all large events like weddings, graduations, retirements, and other parties were canceled was going to be the hardest, but this is even harder!

We also want to do our best to please everyone with their special requests but it does get hard as we don’t use fondant or other special techniques. There are also only two of us and we don’t have the time to personalize in detail some of the requests by our customers! We try our best to accommodate everyone and at the end of the day, most people are happy with what we can do! We are just a 2 person team and we book up fast! Pre-ordering at your earliest convenience or getting your date for your party reserved is always a good idea and helpful, as we can’t take every order during busy seasons!

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
We love to bake! We are known for our gourmet cupcakes and cookies which can be ordered year-round, but at Christmas, we pretty much switch to just cookies! Besides the gourmet cupcakes on the menu, we have cakes, cake pops, cookies, cookie sandwiches, and cheesecakes. Customer favorites are any new specialty/seasonal cupcakes along with oreo fudge-filled, raspberry-filled, and sea salt caramel-filled cupcakes. Other favorites include anything old-fashioned like peanut bars, apple pie bars, mock angel food, sour cream raisin bars, and pumpkin pie bars which we feature on our pop-up days that we post on social media that we are open!

We have so much to be proud of! Getting to work with each other and actually having a brick and mortar building in New Ulm!! Our business has proven to be successful even in the most challenging times! We just keep a positive attitude about it all knowing we were meant to be where we are! And, we have to say our customers are our favorite part of our job!! They have been beyond supportive and have shown up in so many ways! We also have random Friday or Saturday ‘pop-ups’ that we post on Facebook and people come! They even come from outside of New Ulm just to get our cupcakes!! It’s pretty amazing!! We have also started offering a Gourmet one dozen specialty box around a particular holiday that features new cupcakes decorated to that holiday and people have really been loving that and the variety that comes with it! We also have a great cookie lineup that most people did not know we even had! With every holiday we usually have some sort of pre-order special that we post on social media and our website for people to order! It is fun getting to bake new things and offer our customers something different!

How is your bakery different from other bakeries? Our bakery is mainly pre-orders and is open for business when we post that we are having a pop-up on social media! Our cupcakes are one of a kind, filled with a filling, and we are always coming up with new creations!

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
Getting to work side-by-side with each other truly brings us both happiness as we are super close! It has been pretty great, and many people ask how we do it! But, we are the same person! We are both very driven and passionate about what we do, we take pride in our product and how it looks, we both have the same mindset, goals for the business, and we love seeing our customers happy and coming back time and time again to order from us! Neither of us would have ever thought of going into business with anyone else!

Emily absolutely loves coming up with new flavors and creations! It always kept me motivated in the classroom too! I loved
finding new lessons and changing things up a bit! It keeps me motivated!

Becky brings the old with the new! She has all the recipes her mom used to make that people no longer make which brings so much joy to our customers when they walk through the door saying I haven’t had that in years or my grandma used to make that!!

We both love our random Saturday pop ups when we post on Facebook that we will be open! It is a day where we are not baking and we get to chat and interact with our customers which we don’t always get to do! We get a chance to showcase some of our cupcakes, along with new cupcakes, seasonal treats, and cookies!!

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Image Credits
Emily Atnip

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