We had the good fortune of connecting with Cotty Yuhl-Bailey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cotty, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
After our last child graduated from college, I went to culinary and pastry school with the intent to start a small baking company. I have always baked for family and friends. I find baking to be a soothing therapy for my heart and soul. My Grandmother baked for us throughout my life and I wanted to share the love and knowledge she passed onto me. My Grandmother taught me many recipes but her one secret ingredient was impressed upon me as the key to perfect baked goods. “Don’t forget to love what you are creating. It truly makes your cookies, cakes, pies and breads better than others.” As a youngster, that made me smile, as a Pastry Chef, it is a must ingredient in all our creations. I started my business with my incredibly talented daughter, Sara. She is responsible for marketing, social media and my steady partner when building 4 tiered wedding cakes and large orders. Together we make a creative and balanced team. The goal of our company is to deliver delicious goods with the taste that reminds our customers of their childhood favorites. Tossing a few tablespoons of love in everything we bake and keeping our calendar to 3 customers (big weddings) a week are the ways we stand a part from other baking businesses.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I believe each and every cake (and all our baked goods) we create is a piece of Art. It is a wonderful feeling to create large a structure of scrumptious cake and deliver it to a Venue. I actually say good-bye to each one and know the love and time that was infused in each layer has resulted in a delicious center piece for the Bride and Groom or a birthday celebration etc. The first year of our business was the most difficult. Through hard work, consistent marketing and on going education, we developed a steady flow of customers who often contact us for all their celebrations. We learned that being organized, using your time and ingredients thoughtfully and excellent customer service are the most important tools in our business. We strive to market our brand as a baking business that caters to the desires of each customer’s individual wants and needs. Hoping to leave them remembering our creations and craving more.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Gosh, during Covid this has been a tough journey. The most important goal for us is to support small businesses in the area. There are so many wonderful places in the Conejo Valley. One in particular that has a delicious seasonal menu that is incredibly creative is the Moody Rooster. A fantastic meal of Indian food is Bankok Avenue. They create an amazing dish of curry and their drunken noodle dish is to die for. A fun, twenty something bar is the Tipsy Goat, fun drinks and music. Another happening place is Tarantula Hill, great beers and yummy bar food. If a calm, soothing stroll is what you are looking for then visit the Gardens of the World. Wildwood Park has trails that offer a simple but beautiful hike or there are more difficult trails all over the city. Longevity coffee is a lovely cafe where organic coffee is brewed daily. Conejo Coffee also offers a delicious coffee and the owner is very genuine and welcoming. For a great breakfast, you have to go to Side Street Cafe. Big servings that taste like they were made in your own kitchen. Eggs and Things is also a local hot spot. Because I am a Chef, it is obvious that we like to support the local eateries in our town,
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Definitely my Grandmother has been an incredible influence in my joy for baking and giving sweets to others. I have to also thank my supportive husband, Dirk. Since Covid hit I’ve lost many large weddings that were booked this past year. I had already purchased flour, sugar and butter to bake large cakes. I used the ingredients to bake for people in my community who are shut in or just need a sweet reminder that they are thought of. We have provided about 300 loaves of bread, small cutting cakes for small weddings and dozens of cookies at no cost. Dirk supports us in that choice to give to others. Also, my Sara. She has been a never ending shoulder, support and creative mind. She is truly a steady and talented partner.
All image credits go to Sara Bailey