For Lanna Talley, making people happy with baked goods has always brought her joy.
“There’s pictures of me in an apron when I was 3 with my grandmother. I just love it,” she said. “You can’t give someone a cookie without putting a smile on their face.”
Moving to the Eastern Shore from Tennessee with her husband at the beginning of 2020, she brought her skills and corresponding happiness with her in hopes of finding and opening her own bakery store.
That particular goal went to the back burner with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, but she still launched her business, Sunflour Bakery, working out of her home to supply other stores with breads and pastries and fill other custom orders.
Wittman Wharf Seafood and Marker Five restaurant in Tilghman are two spots that she has linked up with as spots to sample her culinary creations. She added she’s also gotten a great response from people ordering birthday cakes and other treats to have at home.
“This community has been incredible,” Talley said.
With formal training from the Rel Maples Institute for Culinary Arts in Sevierville, Tenn., Talley worked at a pie shop, a country club, a theme park, and in fine dining establishments, honing her baking skills.
I’ve worked my way around all things pastry for about 10 years just to figure out what I love the best,” Talley said.
The answer: “All of it,” she added with an unmistakable smile.
Breads, rolls and biscuits have become a key part of her product line and as the holidays approach, pies, pumpkin rolls and other treats may take center stage, she said. On the pie side, pumpkin, pecan, caramel apple and bourbon chocolate chip are her go-to flavors but she added she constantly experimenting on new recipes from breads to desserts.
“Good baking is following the rules but great baking is learning how to break the rules and going from there,” she said.
Some of the ways she strays from the norm include mixing in brown sugar to recipes instead of just using white sugar, always using butter and making pie crusts by hand every time.
“No mixer, no nothing. It’s all by hand,” she said. “My job gives me an excuse to make a mess.”
While her plans changed this spring, Talley said it’s worked out in making connections with established businesses first. Her sights are now set on finding a commercial kitchen she can move into to help expand her customer base.
She added she hasn’t given up on the plan to open a retail store but her set up right now allows her to “work and just bake.”
And that makes her happy.
Reach Talley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 865-456-8941.