Cottage Co.: Home Bakers On the Rise in San Antonio 

click to enlarge Annie Vu, owner of Annie’s Petite Treats, is among the growing number of cottage bakers who have found small business success in San Antonio. - LEA THOMPSON
  • Lea Thompson
  • Annie Vu, owner of Annie’s Petite Treats, is among the growing number of cottage bakers who have found small business success in San Antonio.

A growing number of San Antonio bakers are looking to work from the comfort of their home rather than open traditional brick-and-mortars. Since 2011, Texas’ cottage food law has inspired local food entrepreneurs like Annie Vu, owner of Annie’s Petite Treats, to start and grow their business without stepping into a commercial kitchen space.

Vu grew up cooking dinner with her family in Houston, and she continued developing new recipes as a student at Trinity University. After graduation, Vu began her career with Rackspace, where she helped build the company’s communications and outreach efforts. When her job required her to take on increasingly demanding workload, she turned to baking as a creative outlet.

“For me, baking is a meditation. Baking allowed me to knead out the negative energy of the day,” she said. “I began making cake balls each night, just for fun, and shared them with the office the next day.”

Orders from Rackspace colleagues, mutual friends and Trinity University helped to cement her place as a specialty baker in the San Antonio community, and state cottage laws allowed her to run Annie’s Petite Treats while working a 9-to-5 job. She left Rackspace for a job with a nonprofit in 2013, but soon realized that she couldn’t juggle two careers forever.

“I didn’t know how to pump the brakes on my growth,” she said. “I knew I could always go back to a traditional career, but I decided to follow the momentum of Annie’s Petite Treats instead and pursue the business full-time [in 2014].”

Since its inception, Annie’s Petite Treats has expanded to include cake balls, custom pies, galettes and cookies made with fresh, flavorful and local ingredients. Today, Vu works in a small studio behind her home, which allows her to take on private orders and spend quality time with her husband and young daughter. Her colorful and fun desserts have garnered a strong following on Instagram and Facebook, and she plans to expand the Annie’s brand with new products and collaborations in the coming months.

“[What] I really love about San Antonio is it’s such a close knit community — even though it’s competitive, we all have a niche market,” she said. “I’m not great at everything so I’ll work with other moms and outsource certain things like fondant designs or sugar cookies.”

Locals can order seasonal sweets from Annie’s Petite Treats via Facebook, or check out holiday popups with Feliz Modern and Open House events in Alamo Heights. Expect to see mini pecan bites, apple pie cookies, fresh galettes and holiday toffee. Need a quick dessert fix? Head to Press Coffee on Fridays for Vu’s signature cake pops and treats, freshly delivered by Vu herself. | anniespetitetreats.com.

click to enlarge Annie Vu, owner of Annie’s Petite Treats, sources fresh and local fruit like apricots for her seasonal cookies, pies and galettes. - LEA THOMPSON
  • Lea Thompson
  • Annie Vu, owner of Annie’s Petite Treats, sources fresh and local fruit like apricots for her seasonal cookies, pies and galettes.

BAKERS TO WATCH

Baked Goodness
Jessica Hall was working as a Marketing Director for the RK Group when she began creating beautiful, customized cookies as a side project in 2008. Within the following decade, she became a mother to two children and left her job to focus on her business, Baked Goodness, full-time. Hall often collaborates with Annie Vu of Annie’s Petite Treats to fulfill and outsource specialty orders, and cookie fanatics can expect to see some incredible holiday desserts this season. "I always try do something that is out of the norm — there will be fun and special cookies for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.” Hall will host popups and cookie decorating classes at Feliz Modern and Belle & Union at the Quarry this December. Email Hall to order cookies or cookie cakes this season. | baked-goodness.com.

Cakes by Jandy
Taste, color and design are essential to Jandy Garcia’s unique cakes, cupcakes and conchas. Garcia fell in love with baking as a teen before making it his career, earning his culinary degree at the Art Institute of San Antonio in 2014. Garcia has found loyal customers since he opened his baking business from home in 2016. “I like to use shapes and [elements] that form unique cakes — from sushi and concha cakes — and use a lot of colors, edible glitter and gold. There will always be something that pops out.” Locals can follow or submit special dessert orders via his Instagram profile. | instagram.com/cakesbyjandy.

Macarons by Andrew
Andrew Gonzales’ business began with a passion for macarons. “I never [had] any professional culinary training,” he said. “My wife and I used to enjoy them together, so I thought I’d try making them at home.” After a year of perfecting his recipes, he launched the company in February of 2017. “It took a lot of adjusting the temperatures and recipes, and working all night after my toddler went to sleep, but they eventually became easy to make,” he added. The company has since expanded to include unique macaron designs, flavors and cakes. Fans can expect to see holiday-themed desserts available for orders, new Fiesta medals and special popup events in the coming months. | macaronsbyandrew.com.

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