“Mindfulness” is all the rage these days, yeah? You can barely go ten minutes before you run into an articles, book, podcast, pr an app promoting Mindfulness. Not that that’s a bad thing - we’re proud Headspace subscribers over here at WW HQ! But still, it’s hard to narrow down exactly what it means to be mindful. Not long ago we sat down with Kim Cutler, owner of Baked Bliss Baking Company (1115 North 15th Street), and it finally made sense.
Kim, a Baylor grad with a business degree in Economics, has worked with inner-city kids for the past 15 years, teaching job skills and began the journey that has become Baked Bliss in 2012. Kim worked at a Starbucks for seven years in order to get customer service and to learn how to run a restaurant. “You can be a foodie,” Kim explained over a cup of her wonderful coffee, “and not have a clue about running a business.”
Upon founding Baked Bliss in 2014, Kim has always been a fan of “from-scratch baking.” She was a wholesale baker, providing up to 4500 scratch pastries per week. I’ll let you do the math on how many scratch pastries that is per day/hour/minute/etc. Eventually Kim preferred to focus on the community.
With a kitchen nestled inside what was, in 1936, a gas station and serving out of a converted FEMA trailer, Kim has created a business that benefits Waco, but also gives back to the immediate area in which she is located. The two main take-aways we got from our visit were “Community” and “Premium.”
“Bliss means heavenly joy,” Kim explained. “How are we actively creating a heavenly environment? How do we love each other well?” she asked. These questions were not asked of us, but rather as the questions Kim asks herself on a regular basis. “We want our customers to feel like they just purchased a celebration of all things baked.” Another focus is on creating a healthy team environment among the employees, as well as training teenagers in how to develop job skills and thrive in a workplace environment.
And it works. The cinnamon rolls are actually (and unironically) heavenly. The coffee is out of this world (see what I did there?). But there are aspects of Baked Bliss that are conscientiously different from, say, a standard pastry shop.
Start with the gluten-free baked goods. As the spouse of one who is extremely gluten-intolerant, ordering gluten-free is a crapshoot, pun slightly intended. You’re not going to get cross-contamination at Baked Bliss. “Especially around holidays or Sunday dinners, no one really thinks of those family members who are dairy-free or gluten-free,” Kim explained, and the commitment shows. Each week, before the ovens are even turned on, Kim and her staff deep-clean the ovens and bake the gluten-free products first. No regular baked goods are made until all the gluten-free goods are finished baking. There are separate containers for the gluten-free ingredients and Kim has painstakingly adjusted the leaveners in order to make sure that the gluten-free customers receive high-quality baked goods.
The rest of the menu is just delightful. Did I mention the coffee? Yes? Okay, good. How about the kolaches? They have a perfect bread-to-meat ratio. You can have one of Baked Bliss’ kolaches and not feel as though you just ate a loaf of bread. My mom is British, and Baked Bliss’ scones take me back to my youth. Each item that Kim delivers is with the goal of “celebrating life with food.” Kim and her team deliver on that goal every time they open the doors.
Baked Bliss has regular clients that drive up from Austin and the Hill Country, and down from Dallas, and the importance is not lost on Kim, “It’s an honor to bake goods that serve as a reward.” And what a reward! So come on down to Baked Bliss, sit on the patio - there’s no indoor seating - and get your reward, knowing that you’re supporting a legit local treasure giving back to our community.
1114 North 15th Street, Waco 76707
8am-2pm Tuesday & Wednesday; 7am-5pm Thursday & Friday; 8am-2pm Saturday.