We had the good fortune of connecting with Kimberly Wallis Licht and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kimberly, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I was reading a story to my son at bedtime and at the end there was a recipe for challah. He asked me if we could try to make it and I agreed. My first attempt with this recipe was actually quite awful. I knew nothing about proofing yeast and I just threw it in with the rest of the ingredients. It came out very pretty but was as hard as a rock! I tried a few more recipes over the next couple of weeks to get it right until I found the one that worked for me. I then began experimenting with different fillings and toppings. I began posting pictures on social media just for fun. I began getting requests to make them for friends. Initially I was hesitant because I didn’t want it to possibly take the joy out of baking for my family. I decided to give it a shot for just one week and see if I enjoyed selling them. Needless to say, I did and I still enjoy it very much. It’s been a great way to connect with the community and bring joy to others. I mean, who doesn’t love carbs? I now bake over 20 flavors, both sweet and savory. That’s how my business evolved!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
First and foremost I am a mom, wife and an actress. It has been challenging in the entertainment industry during Covid and I have craved more of a creative outlet. Baking challah has provided that for me while, of course, still being available to my young kids who are home distance learning. I have come up with over 20 different varieties of unique challahs. The funny thing is that I absolutely hate cooking. I have a sign in my kitchen that says “kitchen, for display only”. Anyone that knows me well gets the irony of all of this. That’s why when I was coming up with a name for my business, THE ACCIDENTAL BAKER, was the perfect choice!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Assuming quarantine was over, I love breakfast at Blu Jam Cafe in Sherman Oaks. I would probably take friends shopping at The Grove and Farmers Market or down to Venice Beach for a unique California experience and the best people watching spots anywhere! We would have lunch at Andres on 3rd and Fairfax. It’s a hidden gem that’s been there for the decades. My grandparents used to take me there when I was little and I still love it. It is cafeteria style Italian food at a price that can’t be beat. They also have a sister restaurant in the valley called Grandi Italiani. Drinks at Lola’s in West Hollywood are a must. Best martinis anywhere! They probably have as many martini options as I have challah options!
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?
I would like to give a shout out to my dear friend, Jennifer Komsky, who gave me the delicious recipe that I’ve been working with and tweaking. I’d also like to acknowledge Deborah Turobiner for the wonderful teaching and inspiration she provides in her Facebook group Holla for Challah. It’s a Facebook community page where people from all over can ask questions, offer advice, share their personal creations and their love of baking challah.
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