I initially met Heather Sutton when I did my previous interview with the owners of Cultivate Coffee. She is the wizard behind all the mouth-watering treats from Bestow Baked Goods that you can find in the bakery case at Cultivate. During my most recent visit to the coffee shop I ordered a Cinnamon Chip scone and it was quite possibly the most delicious thing that has ever touched my lips. I sent Heather a Facebook message mid-bite and told her just that. She was so thankful and said she would love for me to try more treats. Not being one to pass up a dessert of any type, this past week I sat down with Heather to talk about her love for all things cupcakes, pies, cakes, and scones!
Bestow was the perfect name for Heather’s business as she had initially begun baking for others, as gifts of love. Baking has always been her way of bringing happiness to others and is her way of sharing a bit of herself with the world since she said that she is indeed an introvert. I kindly told her that from where I was sitting, both literally and figuratively, there was no way that could be true. She has a calming presence about her and is so easy to talk to. I felt as if we were old high school friends who met for brunch every Sunday to drink mimosas and catch up on life.
Heather has been baking full time for approximately four years but her passion for baking started when she was young. Her grandmother, who is responsible for her love of baking, is, according to Heather, a true baker. You know, the kind that never measured or wrote anything down but each recipe still came out perfectly each and every time? That is the way her grandmother bakes. This turned out to be a bit of a challenge for Heather when she tried to recreate her grandmother’s sweet potato pie! ’Just a little of this, and a pinch of that’ were not yet measurements that Heather was familiar with. She played around with the measurements and kept baking until she perfected it. She has since come up with her personal favorite, Sweet Potato Cake, which is topped with brown sugar cream cheese icing. If your mouth isn’t watering yet, keep reading. And if you haven’t noticed a theme here yet, sweet potatoes are Heather’s go-to and you can find them as an ingredient in many of her treats. It’s actually pretty perfect since sweet potatoes are a vegetable so that makes her cupcakes and treats healthy, right? I am pretty sure that is how it works.
Her selection of baked goods in addition to her number of employees has grown since she joined forces with Cultivate. Since most people don’t usually stop for coffee and a cupcake on their way to work, she has added scones, cookies, and chunky monkey bread to her offerings, among other bakery items. She has a couple staples but most items are ever changing. The scones, especially if you arrive first thing in the morning when they are hot out of the oven, are the perfect combination of golden crunch on the outside and soft on the inside. The morning of our interview, which was an hour after opening, all of the Chocolate Chip scones were already gone. If you are a lover of chocolate chip scones, try her Cinnamon Chip scone; it’s almost the same but the addition of cinnamon sends them over the top! Bestow’s Baked Goods are in such high demand Heather has had to hire employees to help her bake and has had to teach them what her own ‘pinch of this’ and ‘pinch of that’ is. Moving from a one-woman show, baking in her own kitchen to having a team of people working for you and sharing your kitchen space seemingly overnight has not come without some growing pains, but those are quickly dwindling.
While we were discussing where she finds inspiration for her unique flavors, Heather explained that her husband Kyle is the mastermind behind a lot of the unassuming combos. I tried one of her Oatmeal Butterscotch cookies, which was one of her husbands’ ideas, and it was scrumptious! I love all things oatmeal and would have never thought about pairing it with butterscotch, but the two flavors marry perfectly. Shoutout Kyle! Her husband is also the one that pushed her to start selling her treats, and eventually space share with Cultivate, since buying 25lbs of sugar multiple times a week was starting to add up!
Her hopes for the future are to launch a tasting box, which would be a monthly subscription box filled with four uniquely flavored treats including one bonus free treat, possibly to share with a friend. (No pressure if you don’t want to share any of the treats though!) She hopes to, but really her husband, one day to have her own brick and mortar shop filled to the brim with all of her delicious bakery treats.
Fun Facts about Heather!
- Heather absolutely loves the beach. Not any beach in-particular just as long as there are waves crashing in front of her, she is happy
- She does make sweet potato pies during the holidays and I will be the first one to put in my order!
- Heather grew up in Raleigh and is a graduate of both Broughton High School and UNC-Wilmington.
- Her favorite aspect of baking is when someone orders a cake and gives her a general theme of what they want but allows her the freedom to create it the way she wants. She loves baking without borders!