Andrew Rodenz bent over and stared into the transparent display case filled with a variety of cupcakes, dessert bars and cookies.
It didn’t take the 5-year-old from Chanhassen long to point out his favorite treat to his mother, Jenna Rodenz.
“It looked like there were so many good ones,” Jenna said after leaving the newly-opened Sota-Licious bakery with a several scrumptious items. “We love treats.”
Amy Bachler and her daughter, Heidi Schmieg, co-owners of the new Chanhassen business, at the southwest corner of highways 7 and 41, are hoping there will be many more customers who enjoy treats.
The two women, who have a long history of baking, quit their previous jobs to undertake the new venture.
“The journey to get here has been a long one for both of us,” Bachler says when describing how the business formed, adding that she worked, in part, for Minnetonka public schools and the Edina Police Department, while Schmieg worked for event planning businesses.
Bachler’s passion for baking reignited when seeing Schmieg make pool ball-looking cupcakes for her now-husband, Kyle. Bachler and daughters Heidi and Marcie started making designer cakes and cupcakes for friends and family.
“It was a side thing that me and mom did, and my sister would help when she came home,” Heidi said. “We did that quite a few years and always talked about how our dream was to open a bakery and be able to do what we love every day.”
Heidi and Bachler, both of Excelsior, examined either starting their own business or joining a franchise.
“We looked at multiple options and at the end, we did what we felt was best for us, to take a leap of faith and go off on our own and use our own recipes that we know and love and know that others will love too,” Heidi said.
The duo had hoped to open their store in April, but COVID-19 concerns and subsequent health regulations delayed that until last Friday.
“With all the restrictions, it’s definitely been nerve-wracking because you are already starting something new,” Heidi said. “All this just adds another unknown factor for us and other businesses around us.
“Luckily, we are able to allow a small number of customers in the store at a time,” she added. “The response has been very positive so far and that’s great to hear.”
Customers have told the owners that the bakery, given the virus and national unrest issues, is bringing some joy during difficult times.
“Everyone needs a cookie, cupcake or brownie,” Courtney Noble of Excelsior said after buying several items from the store. “It just makes you feel good.”
“A lot of businesses are closing,” Heidi said. “You’re not expecting a new business to be opening at this time.”
The business, which also offers truffles, cakes and ice cream, is utilizing a number of family members for staff at the start.
“I had two aunts who baked their butts off with us, as well as multiple cousins and others helping out,” Heidi said, also crediting her husband Kyle for his social media and other efforts. “They are willing to help as needed. We have an amazing family who wants to see us succeed.”
The business name represents the state, “and when you say it fast, it kind of sounds like ‘so delicious,’ which is what our products are,” Heidi said.
The bakery will offer 70-plus flavors of cupcakes, with expectations of the flavors available changing on a weekly basis,” Heidi said.
“It is a fun venture; hectic to begin with, but all positive so far,” she said. “We’re excited to see where this will go.”