CANANDAIGUA, NY — Here’s how some of the conversations went for Tammy Bresette and friends, including a pivotal New Year’s Eve 2020 get-together that set in motion a sweet business plan for 2021 and beyond.
“You should sell this stuff.”
Bresette, responding, “Nobody’s gonna buy my stuff.”
“Boy,” she said while not trying to sound braggadocious, “was I wrong.”
The stuff, in this case, meant cinnamon rolls and cookies, and soon to come would be bread, scones and other goodies.
Tammy and husband Peter — both fairly recently retired Army career counselors and both Desert Storm veterans — had talked of what they would do next (yes, even before last New Year’s Eve). She had been baking for quite some time in her life, but mostly for family and friends.
“Let’s start a home baking business and see where it goes,” Tammy Bresette said.
And in January, their start-up bakery Love on the Inside was born. The Canandaigua-based home bakery also has set up shop at the Canandaigua Farmers Market downtown on Saturdays.
“It has been crazy, the response that I’ve gotten,” Bresette said.
Bresette bakes about 40 loaves of bread a week in her kitchen, and probably six to seven dozen cookies and the same number of scones. Add in 15 four-packs of cinnamon rolls and, of late, some biscotti and sticky buns.
In this case, home sweet home is less of a quaint saying and more a statement of fact.
Two weeks ago, the Bresettes came home from the market with leftovers for the first time, and it wasn’t much, just a few bags of cookies.
“Normally, we don’t come home with anything,” she said. “It’s great. Half the time we’re almost sold out by 10 o’ clock. People who come in around 11 clean up the rest.”
Love on the Inside has been very well received by market customers, confirmed Don Cotter, owner of CDGA Coffee Co. and president of the market.
From Cotter’s perspective, success at the market is maximized if three criteria are met: consumer need, quality product and friendly vendor interaction. Love on the Inside, which filled a market void for a bread vendor, solidly meets all three criteria, he said.
“Tammy and Pete stepped up to fill that consumer need with excellent fresh baked bread, mouthwatering cinnamon rolls and much more,” Cotter said. “And they could not be more friendly. Speaking on behalf of the farmers market, we couldn’t be more pleased to have them.”
While Tammy does the baking, husband Peter is the certified taster and sous chef who helps with cleanup, packaging, marketing and labeling. Yes, tasting is a tough job, but someone has to do it — and, you know, it’s right inside their house.
“It’s challenging. I’ve got to watch my weight, especially when she makes the scones and cookies,” he said. “It’s pretty tough, but it’s enjoyable.”
And they’re developing a rhythm of balancing the market with special orders, which might include specialty cupcakes for graduation parties, as has been happening a lot of late.
Bresette had always tried to make specialty cakes for their four kids on their birthdays as they were growing up, so coming up with something unique is somewhat old hat for her.
In the past, baking was a way of de-stressing for Bresette, or the chance to make goodies on weekends or Christmas presents for family and friends.
“That’s all my baking was, kind of a hobby, a passion,” she said.
And now, it’s a way of following through on a New Year’s Eve resolution while charting a future course.
“It’s a great transition for both of us because once we retired, now we’re just doing something we love to do,” Peter Bresette said.
Tammy Bresette said she is not envisioning anything huge, although she doesn’t know where this is going to go.
“I just thought I’d be doing this as a little side hustle,” she said. “I’m not sure if I want it to be anything more than it is right now. We’re just taking it day by day to see what comes around the corner.”