Our newest Featured Baker is a shining example of following your heart, your passion and creating a life by design! Stacey Leick, Cottage Baker and Owner of Buttered Marshmallow of Omaha, Nebraska, made a decision one day that altered the course of her life forever. And she’s never looked back; “I live a dream life”, Stacey shared during our recent conversation. But it wasn’t always a dream, which is why I’m so excited to share her story and let her inspire you to create a life you love.
Making Life-Changing Decisions
By all accounts, Stacey had a very successful career as the Director of a company with 15 years of tenure and she loved her work. Unfortunately, she also had a boss who did not love his work, started every week with a bad attitude and made life hard for everyone. On October 4, 2017, after a fellow employee had been fired without reason, Stacey decided, “I was done.” In that moment, she made a commitment to herself that she would resign in one year. The only problem was, she had no idea what she was going to do instead.
Soon after, Stacey was at a networking event around a bonfire and there was a marshmallow-roasting contest. The judge took one bite of Stacey’s buttered marshmallow and exclaimed “This one wins! Yes, this is the winner of all time EVER!” It was in that moment that Stacey decided two more things. First, that baking was what she was going to do with her career. And second, her bakery would be called, Buttered Marshmallow.
Making Her Dream a Reality
Stacey decided that she would do SOMETHING every single day, for 365 days, to get her closer to opening her business. And one day, she looked in the mirror and said, “You’re ready for this”. She resigned from her job and jumped in with both feet. Stacey knew two things; that people loved her cakes and that she wanted to golf a lot. So, Stacey started designing the life she wanted, bringing joy to people with her cakes while also loving life. Comforted by a motto of “things always work out the way they should”, she never looked back and her success has only grown.
At first, business was slow, with about 10 cakes per month. But while out with a friend, she was encouraged to join a “Food Lovers” Facebook group based in Omaha. She joined and the next day, she had an order. The following day, she had another order. Over the course of less than 4 weeks, she went from baking 10 cakes a month to baking 25-30 cakes per week! And it’s never stopped; Omaha LOVES Buttered Marshmallow.
Stacey is a custom baker who will bake just about anything people request, except cheesecake. There are a couple other local bakeries who love making cheesecake more than she does, so she happily refers customers to them. She is, however, known for a couple extra special treats. Her Signature Cake is described as “a white cake with torched, buttered marshmallows and caramel baked in, a swirl of caramel between each layer and a crown of torched, buttered marshmallows with a caramel swirl and drip atop.” 😲 I think my blood sugar went up just thinking about it. Look at this masterpiece that is famous in Omaha.
Her other specialty is a “S’Mores Special Edition Cake” that was named “Best Dessert in Omaha” in Dec 2021, by Dan Hoppen, of Restaurant Hoppen, a respected local blogger and podcaster. Created for a friend, her S’Mores Special Edition Cake receives rave reviews and is a customer favorite. Stacey is known for her signature pink boxes and has become somewhat of a local celebrity in Omaha!
Could Life Get Any Better?
When asked what the future holds for Buttered Marshmallow, Stacey dreams of two things. “I would love for a big company to buy my name.” She’s incredibly proud of the business she has built and the reputation of her cakes. She protects her recipes, and everything related to her business fiercely, since this is what her dream is made of! She would also LOVE to have franchisees spreading the goodness of Buttered Marshmallow beyond Omaha. After all, you can take the woman out of Corporate America, but she’s still got the business skills!
Share Those Business SKills, Stacey!
Stacey has great advice for aspiring or current cottage bakery business owners. To start “you own a business, treat it like a business”. She also firmly believes that you “can’t run a business without knowledge of marketing, inventory and finance”. If you’re challenged in any of these areas, Stacey encourages you to find someone who is knowledgeable. On that note, she recommends every business-owner take advantage of their local business development center. These are commonly run by the state or county level. In addition to free educational offerings, they commonly provide access to free accounting, legal and other business services. She also wants bakers to know that the Department of Health and Department of Agriculture are your friends. They want you to succeed, so it is in your best interest to partner with them instead of hiding from them.
Stacey also encourages cottage bakers to find something that you’re known for. For her, it’s her pink boxes and her Signature Cake! And she loves to talk to everyone about her bakery, “Find all the ways to get your name out there.”
In preparation for starting her business, she had already bought her pink boxes and she was slowly accumulating key ingredients she knew she’d need. Now, Stacey goes through 50lbs of flour a week and 36lbs of butter in 3 days! Clearly, she is business savvy and there is a lot to be learned from her!
Living The Dream
Stacey is a role model for cottage bakers, and frankly all business-owners, in letting her passion fuel her to create the business and life she dreamed of. In addition to her three grown daughters, she has “3 great loves: golf, champagne and baking”. Everyone has different goals and big dreams. Today, we celebrate Stacey for making decisions, taking actions on plans and creating the life she loves. I encourage all of you take that leap of faith and find something that lights your soul on fire, you’ll only regret it if you don’t try!
To connect with Stacey, you can visit her website HERE or contact her via the following ways. I encourage you to follow her social media to see more of her beautiful work. In the meantime, enjoy this gallery of fun images of Stacey and her creations!
Never miss a new recipe, decorating technique or Featured Baker story! For more inspiration and to see our previous talented Featured Bakers, visit HERE!
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