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DeEtta’s Bakery a family business, right down to the recipes and the business’ name – Chicago Tribune

Business: DeEtta’s Bakery

Address: 428 W. Fifth Ave., Naperville

Phone/website: 630-548-4078 and www.deettasbakery.com

Owner: Morgan Tyschper, 50, of Naperville

Years in business? 13

Why did you open a bakery? “When we had our first-born, our son, in South Carolina, I started to bake things. My husband would take them to his office. All of sudden, (his coworkers would say) ‘My son’s birthday is coming up. Would you wife mind baking some cookies or a cake?’ That’s how it started. I would do that at home. Then we moved up here. That was in 2003. … My husband (Kevin) now works with Garrett’s Popcorn, but he helped me open the bakery. He’s the numbers guy. I’m the creative person. … We got rolling, no pun intended,” Tyschper said.

Have you always been at this location? “Our brick-and-mortar has been in business (here) for eight years. We originally started out of our home. When things started to take off, we worked out of a friend’s catering business and used their commercial kitchens.”

Who is DeEtta? “The bakery is named after my mom (DeEtta Hawkins). She’s passed away, but she’s the one who taught me my love of baking. She said, ‘Here are the cookbooks, the sugar, the flour and the eggs. Have fun, but clean up.’ … She was an art teacher so she really appreciated that creativity of following your passion. … I wouldn’t be here without her.”

Did you study culinary arts in college? “I didn’t. This is a job switch. I was a pediatric dietician, worked in a neo-natal unit in Minneapolis. See, it gets more interesting by the minute. I have a master’s degree in nutrition science. I got that at IU (Indiana University). I enjoyed what I did but I didn’t love what I did.”

What makes this a success? “Our staff knows a certain customer may be coming in. Before the customer walks in, we have the morning muffin and cup of coffee waiting for them because they know what the customer will order.”

What do you like best? “We love being part of people’s celebrations. Being part of their memorable moments. Being part of their Saturday mornings or their Monday mornings. Just being part of their day. We love being their comfort source. (Kids) come here after school and hang out with the friends and have a cookie.”

Are they lined up out the door? “Sometimes.”

Any favorite stories? “When we first opened — we have the decorated cookies — when you’re on this side of the counter, you can only see the child’s face. I remember that excitement as a kid, being at a bakery. That excitement (that I see) is so exciting to me. My heart just smiles when I see that.”

Do you make your own recipes? “Some of them we do. For example, our kolache, that is actually my husband’s great-grandmother’s recipe. … The double-chocolate mousse cake, the mousse part, that was my mother-in-law’s recipe that I fell in love with when I came into the family because I’m a chocolate girl.”

How do you know if a recipe works? “There’s a lot of trial and error. There are some absolute fails.”

What’s an absolute fail? ”A peanut butter and jelly combination. nope Didn’t work. You’d think it would work. It was a musky glob. nope That’s not it.”

What works? “Our croissant cups. We only use bacon from Ream’s Meat Market, another family-owned business. They have a passion. We only use their bacon. …People love our cake jars. Individual pieces of cake dry out, so cake jars were born. … Our carrot cake (jar) is a layer of cake, cream cheese filling, a layer of cake, cream cheese.”

Do you love your job? “I really, truly do. I’m so happy to be in a profession I love. Making people smile. I know that sounds cheesy. The same with our staff. It’s not Morgan’s bakery. DeEtta’s is a team. We have about 25 employees. Some of those are part time.”

Is there a busy time of year? “Of course, the holidays. Paczki day (also known as Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent starts) is huge.”

What challenges do you face? “Right now, due to COVID, the supply chain can be a challenge. We use high premium ingredients. We use high-fat European butter. We use high-quality chocolate. Those are things we sometimes have to stop and think, ‘OK, we have to order way in advance because of shipping delays.’ We have to keep on top of what we need. … You learn, adapt and move on.”

What misconceptions may people have? “It’s definitely not a walk in the park. It’s a physical job.”

What’s your advice for someone starting a business? “Follow your passion and follow your instincts. … If you have the passion and you plan properly, it can be done.”

Steve Metsch is a freelance reporter for the Naperville Sun.

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