There’s nothing like the fresh smell of bread baking in the oven.
Whether it’s mixed in with cinnamon and frosting or a more simple honey wheat, the warm smell of what’s bound to be a delicious delight is enough to make anyone’s stomach grumble. Enter in to Cherie Wehausen’s kitchen on any given summer night and you’re sure to be greeted with those exact scents and hungry feelings.
Happening by chance, Wehausen’s previous hobby has now turned in to a summer profit maker and a bit of notoriety for herself.
“I really never expected it to become what is has,” said Wehausen of her Pine River Market Square bread booth, Rising Star. “It’s really been a big hit and I have a lot of fun doing it.
“It turns my kitchen into it’s own wonderful smell, too.”
Wehausen began her bread-baking adventure in 2009, when a friend suggested she try make something for the newly established summer market in Pine River. Having been an avid attendee of markets all over the area, she took out her barely used bread machine and turned out the first loaf. Before she knew it she had made six over the course of a few days to take to her first market.
“My mom used to make homemade bread so I had seen it done lots when I was a little girl,” said Wehausen, who now makes up to 40 loaves of bread in preparation for the weekend’s market. “A lot of times she would make plain, white bread so I decided to do yeast breads in a variety of flavors instead.”
Wehausen’s Rising Star vendor boasts up to 50 different kinds of breads, from honey wheat and rye to plenty of traditionally ethnic breads like Jewish challah and Swedish limpa. But not one to limit herself, Wehausen said her favorite part of making the breads is trying new things.
“I started experimenting with different kinds of breads pretty quickly,” she said. “I have stacks of cookbooks and get recipes online and even take requests from people, like making dairy- and gluten-free breads.
“The best part about this hobby is that you can always try something new. I just love that.”
Wehausen, however, admits that all the experimenting can lead to plenty of disastrous turnouts.
“I have run in to plenty of challenges when trying some of the newer stuff and sometimes when I am making so many different mixes at a time, I can mix things up.”
Despite its challenges, Wehausen wouldn’t take it back for the world, hoping to turn her booth in to a full-fledged bakery someday.
“I would love to own my own bakery and package my breads for sale at places larger than the market. Someday, who knows, but for now I am happy with where Rising Star is at.”