By Sue Moore
Most of Butter’s Bakehouse edible art creations look too perfect to eat, say her admirers on Facebook. Rebecca Tinklenberg is pleased when she sees that comment; she is a true perfectionist. She is co-owner and founder of Butter’s Bakehouse in 2018, first working out of her approved kitchen at home in Schoolcraft and now out in the commercial kitchen at Windfall.
Becca, as she is known to her family, has been practicing on them for years. Husband Jared and daughters Maven, 5, and Remi, 3, have had lots of fun, dipping into the “botched box” of rejects as she learned the craft of baking. She is self-taught, loves to bake and is more critical of her own work than anyone else could be. That’s because she is truly a perfectionist, according to her husband. Jared is general manager of the Hide-a-Way in Vicksburg.
She opened a retail store inside Windfall restaurant at 625 W. Prairie Street in Vicksburg. She has her own prep in the baking and display area that the Hochstetler family built to house her offerings. “It’s a nice complement to our coffee, breakfast and luncheon offerings,” said Paula Hochstetler, Windfall’s co-owner with her daughters. “Everything is seamless to the customer as they order through us or pick what they want off the retail shelves and pay at the counter. We keep track of everything and Becca can be free to create and bake. It makes for great teamwork.”
Tinklenberg is feeling her way in the retail market, learning how much to bake each week so she doesn’t have to throw anything out because it didn’t sell. She got a head start on that learning curve as a vendor at the Vicksburg Farmers’ Market last summer. She sold out almost every week while making plans to open her own store. The opportunity came along to work within Windfall and she jumped at it.
“I liked the challenge of doing different things, like designs on cookies and different products that you can’t get anywhere else and are unique to use. I opened the bakery because I love to bake and wanted to share it with my community. We are in the honeymoon stage right now, figuring out the demand for retail and custom orders,” Tinklenberg said. “We will keep expanding our concept, especially with classes being offered each month for designing edible creations. Parents can sign up on Facebook for their children to take the classes but they are as much for adults as they are for kids,” she pointed out. Tinklenberg can be reached at 269-501-6018 or on her Facebook page.
The husband and wife team met on a blind date set up by friends in Schoolcraft. He grew up there, the son of Jackie Tully Plankenhorn. He has a degree in business/sales and marketing from Western Michigan University, eventually gravitating to managing the Hide-a-Way for the Plankenhorns. “The bar is dialed in like clockwork,” Jared said. “Baking is a whole different business. I try to work on the business rather than in the business. My wife takes hours and hours to decorate her edible art. She has strict standards. Everything has to be just perfect!”
He talks about how he and the children got to eat out of the “botched box” as Becca was learning the trade. Now there isn’t much of anything for him to eat. “I try to help as she has everything down to a science. She will let me do a few things but one time I used 16 grams of flour when her recipe called for 14 grams and that was the end of my career as a baker.”
December orders are already booked up and Windfall is closing between Christmas and New Years. But Butter’s Bakehouse will still be taking orders.