GRAY — Emily Wright hopes customers come for the oven-fresh cinnamon rolls and stay for Fat Elvis.
Wright says she’s fulfilling a longtime dream by moving The Frisky Whisk Bakery and her line of decadent, gourmet cupcakes and desserts out of her Auburn kitchen and opening a storefront.
On the menu: cupcakes with names such as Fat Elvis (banana with peanut butter buttercream and candied bacon on top) and Sweet Potato (swirled with marshmallow buttercream and candied pecans). Cookies. Breads. Breakfast sandwiches. And ice cream tacos on homemade waffle cones lined in chocolate with homemade ice cream drizzled with yet more chocolate.
She makes the ice cream in flavors such as Nutella one gallon at a time.
“It’s time-consuming, but it’s worth it,” Wright, 33, said.
Wright grew up in Garland in Penobscot County. The combination of rural living and supportive parents stoked an early love of baking.
“Things to do for fun was making chocolate chip cookies,” Wright said. “(Her mother) always said, ‘Yes, as long as you do the dishes and don’t make a mess.'”
She worked in restaurants and bakeries in her 20s. After her son was born in 2009, Wright began experimenting with recipes and test batches for her own creations.
In 2011, she launched Ylime’s Gourmet (her own name spelled backward). She started with seven gourmet cupcake flavors. She’s up to 40 now in flavors such as Vanilla Chai, Triple Chocolate and S’mores. Ten varieties that she calls “top shelf” include rum, champagne, beer or vodka.
Two years ago, looking to rename her company and get a kitchen utensil in the mix, The Frisky Whisk was born.
Wright took a New Ventures Maine class last spring to help her new and growing business and “it helped with making the business seem more concrete,” she said. “I’d never written a business plan before. That really helped put it together.”
The experience helped her secure a loan through the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments once she spotted the turn-key space this summer at 81 West Gray Road next to Howell’s Gun & Archery Center.
“It helped with things like signage, coffee equipment, just getting started up,” Wright said. “They were all so nice; I can’t say enough about those two (AVCOG and New Maine Ventures).”
Formerly Cheetah’s Cafe and Bakery, the space has room for a few tables and a countertop. It’s the perfect distance between home in Auburn and most of her wholesale accounts in Portland, she said.
Wright said she’s baked so much in isolation, “it’ll be really fun to meet new people and get some regular customers.”
She’s excited, too, that with a large commercial kitchen she can add cheesecakes to her menu.
Her days in the bakery start around 3 a.m. Wright said she’ll bake cinnamon rolls and scones first thing so they can be served fresh from the oven. For breakfast, she plans to stock bagels and English muffins from Toasted Bakery, a new company out of Poland.
Wright hopes to have at least six gourmet cupcake flavors in her display case along with cookies, brownies and breads.
She’ll be open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.
She’s shooting for an opening in about two weeks, right now juggling her ongoing wholesale orders with painting and other touches to the new space.
“I really think it’s going to be great — a line out the door never hurts,” Wright said. “I definitely have a huge sweet tooth; that’s why I got into this business. I try to eat a lot of salads and fresh fruit and healthy things. I also drink a lot of coffee; that keeps me going.”