If it hasn’t been made evident by now, we love people here at AAT! We love hearing about their stories and passions for our community, but we also love hearing about what our fellow locals do and why they do it! For example, we have some wonderful neighbors who own/manager some fantastic local businesses and serve our town tremendously by doing so! This fact is why AAT has partnered up with our good friends at B3 Glass, to bring you all “Small Business Fridays!” Each week, we’ll feature a different, local small business and talk with its owner and hear about their journey, their business in general, as well as their heart for their customers and our city!
This week, we’re joined by Kelli Boulette. On top of working as a registered nurse in the area for many years, Kelli is the owner and operator of a local business with one of our favorite names-Creme Boulette. There’s something about businesses and organizations named around puns that adds an extra bit of fun! Creme Boulette is a newly formed local bakery serving up almost every mouthwatering goodie you can imagine. Cakes, pies, bread, cookies, if you’re dreaming of it, there’s a chance it’s in Kelli’s oven!
As a lifelong Elko native, Kelli knows the importance of serving her community with a quality product. Heck, after her culinary schooling, she even did her baking externship at our very own Star Hotel! Kelli knows her way around a kitchen and our town. Therefore, we’re excited to “roll” right into our conversation with her!
Thank you for joining us this week, Kelli! Let’s start our time together at the beginning. From where did your love of baking come? What do you love most about it?
“I’ve always loved to bake and make things for other people. As someone with a sweet tooth myself, that’s kind of my love language! I show people that I love them by cooking for them!
“There’s a sense of accomplishment with everything I make. Whenever something comes out of the oven, I get this awesome feeling that I can’t explain! And when it doesn’t turn out, I’m not in a good mood, unfortunately. It definitely affects my emotions. It’s kind of like art when something you make turns out the way you want it to; you can get this euphoric feeling inside.”
Fantastic! Now, how did your passion lead you into deciding to open up your own local bakery?
“I graduated from nursing school in 1994, and I still love that job, even now! However, the medical field can be very stressful. One day, I had an epiphany! Why not take something that I love and turn it into a job? Now, we live in Elko. Culinary school isn’t obviously readily available here. But I found one that’s completely accredited and completely online! So, I did culinary school, which took me thirteen months, and then I did another thirteen months of bakery and pastry schooling. I graduated this past June!
“At first, I thought that I didn’t want to open my own business; I just wanted to work in a bakery somewhere. However, there are not any bakeries here! Most grocery store bakeries don’t make their own stuff; it’s a lot of premade and frozen items that they put in the oven. You can’t get the homemade flavor from anything that’s not homemade! So, that’s how Creme Boulette got started!”
What are your plans for your business in the future?
“If I get enough clientele, I probably would open a traditional bakery. But my husband and I bought forty acres of land where he’s going to build me a kitchen that will function as a commercial bakery. So, I’ll go that route, first, because paying rent on a retail location can be hard as a bakery.”
As someone with formal education in the craft, what baking tip can you share with us amateurs at home?
“What surprised me to learn when I went to school was that the way you mix things could have a detrimental effect on your baking. The time of mixing and speed can all play a part in how your baking turns out; I never knew that before going to school! With cake, you mix as little as possible, muffins, and biscuits you want to mix even less, and with bread you want to mix and knead for a long time! When it comes to baking, you have to be precise!”
Creme Boulette’s menu is already quite diverse and extensive! What is your favorite thing to bake?
“Bread is definitely my favorite! It’s really versatile! When it rises, and you get to shape it into whatever you want, it’s just so gratifying to make!”
Wonderful! Well, thank you for your time this week, Kelli! Those pies are not going to fill themselves, so is there anything else you’d like to share before we let you return to your rolling pin?
“I’m going to start making things ahead of time and selling them! If you like homemade bread, I can do it for you, for sure! I can do everything else, but homemade bread is my favorite!”
You can find Creme Boulette’s Facebook page HERE! Check out her full menu of tasty goods and treats!
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See you around, Elko!