Kristine M. Kierzek
Haley Tushaus began saving her singles while working in the service industry. Every one-dollar bill went into a jar, and at the end of the year she’d deposit them all. It all went into his business, and even inspired the name.
After a little more than a year of baking at home and taking custom cookie, cake and dessert orders from friends and family, she officially moved into a commercial kitchen space and opened Lucky One Baking Co. N88-W16624 Appleton Ave., Menomonee Falls.
Tushaus, who studied baking and pastry at Waukesha County Technical College, creates all her sugar cookie shapes and colors custom for each customer. Orders range from one dozen on up, and typically at least a two-week notice is required. To order, go to luckyonebakingco.com
Becoming a baker
I baked with my mom. We’d do holiday baking and things all year round. She liked it. I got really into it. As I got older I’d do it on my own and I’d bring things to school just for fun. I graduated from high school in 2015 and went to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities for one semester. It’s a great school, but not where I should have been. It was very big, and I did not know what I was doing. I finished a semester, took time off from school and worked in a restaurant. I made money, saved money.
I had to sit down and think about what do I like? What am I good at? I was looking into graphic design programs. I’ve always liked the creative field that can be applied in so many ways, and I worked in a restaurant. I helped with desserts for certain events just for fun.
I knew there were culinary and baking programs. Let’s look into this. I ended up at WCTC. I loved it. I’m so thankful for that school. It was only two years, but we got to do so many things. Your actual baking classes, you’re in the classroom four days per week. In our classroom, they had price tags on the ovens, all the equipment, so if you want to do this in the future you know. This is not a cheap hobby.
Baking becomes her business
When everything was still so up in the air in March and April 2020 I was at home with all this time. I’d done a few orders for cookies for friends and family, very basic. Then in May, I got orders for people with graduation parties, small ones for family. As the summer went on, I got more orders, basically word of mouth. That’s how it works for this kind of thing. I found my (current) space in March 2021, but it took until November to get it set up.
Saving those singles
I knew when I stopped going to school I wanted to save money for going back to school or some business for baking. Since I was serving and bartending, I saved all my singles in a jar. … I did that for four to five years. I was talking about my business name. My friend said what if you did “Lucky One,” you have all the singles. That was it.
Her kitchen must-have
I wanted it to be for myself. People have big kitchens and rent space by the hour. I didn’t want that. It would limit my work, and I’d have to lug my stuff. I didn’t want to work out of my house anymore. I wanted that separation. I wanted my own space. It is only 250 square feet, right on Appleton and Main in Menomonee Falls, in a building with other businesses.
In school, we went on little field trips to restaurants, bakeries and hotels to talk to owners and managers about working in this business. Almost every single person said you need to make time for yourself, making sure you are sleeping and eating enough and not always working. I was like “of course.” Now that I’m in it I see it is very easy to constantly go go go. That catches up with you. I’ve had to set hours for myself.
Cookies versus cakes
I like doing cakes, but I like doing those just for fun. Cookies are my favorite. I feel like I can be more creative with cookies and custom. I like the medium better. It is also a little less pressure. If you make a cake, it is one cake. If you mess it up it is harder to fix. Cookies, if you mess one up you have another.
I did some Chinese new year ones this year. Those were fun. I didn’t know anything about it, so I got to research it. Pet faces are one of my favorite things. People will send me a picture of their dog or cat and I do it on a cookie. I love that.
Every order is as custom as I can make it. My favorite thing is when people send me an invite. Right now I’m working on a set for a 2-year-old’s birthday, a too sweet theme. Mom feels an invite, the girl’s name, and how old she is turning. She said do what you want. That is my favorite thing. It gives me a color palette, then I can do what I want. I have a 3D printer. Anything that there is a drawing of is available.
Worth the investment
I bought my 3-D printer relatively early, but my first big purchase was my bigger commercial Kitchen-Aid with a bigger bowl.
RELATED:This Brookfield baker creates custom-made cookies and desserts in downtown Menomonee Falls
One of the things I hear is they look really good, but they taste good, too. That is important.
Brush with fame
I have done some orders for Pabst and Riverside Theater. The woman I work with there, she sent me a list of upcoming shows. I was scrolling them and I got to Slash. My mom was like “The Slash?” Yes, they were for him. I get to go drop them off, and it is fun to see behind the scenes, but I don’t get to meet anyone.
Everything is by order only. I don’t have anything for sale in my kitchen. Everything is through my website.
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