Three of the area’s top bakeries will be put to the test on Friday, Nov. 5, in support of Hudson Hospital’s Community Healing Garden. Meet the bakers who are volunteering their time, talents and tasty treats.
Adam Williamson, Buddy’s Bakery
How and when did you get into baking? I started baking at the Machine Shed in 2008 and fell in love with cooking when I was working at San Pedro Cafe in 2002.
What bakery do you work at now and what's your history there? I opened Buddy's Bakery in April 2019. I purchased the old Bruegger's Bagels and re-opened with Buddy's adding doughnuts, pastries and New York bagels.
What is your favorite thing to prepare? Doughnuts. I love that there are so many things that you can do when it comes to doughnuts. The possibilities are endless.
What inclined you to participate in the hospital's Dessert Showdown? I love helping to contribute to anything that adds value to our community. Also, both of my sons were born at Hudson hospital so it is a place that's near and dear to my heart. I worked in assisted living for a few years and it showed me the importance of being able to unwind and get a breath of fresh air when you're going through a tough time with family or friends. I think that this garden will be very helpful for people when they need a break from the situation they might be going through.
Can you share anything about what you'll be making for the event? A sweet, crunchy, vanilla bean pillow of delightfulness.
If you're not in the kitchen, what might you be doing? I love spending time with my family, cooking dinner, watching sports or doing anything outside.
Ashley Adkison, Sweet Beet Bakery
How and when did you get into baking? I got onto baking with my mother at the very young age of 6 or 7. After 10 years of restaurant customer service, I decided to pursue the kitchen end of things as a career at the age of 26 and proceeded to work in the kitchen of Nadia Cakes in Woodbury, and the cafe formerly known as Dish and the Spoon Cafe in River Falls.
What bakery do you work at now and what's your history there? I am now the owner and operator of Sweet Beet Bakery in Downtown Hudson and New Richmond Wisconsin.
What is your favorite thing to prepare? My favorite things to prepare are gluten-free, vegan and allergen friendly baked goods. I really love any type of challenge in the kitchen.
What inclined you to participate in the hospital's Dessert Showdown? We are super excited to participate in the showdown, not only is it for a very good cause, but it let's our creative juices and competitiveness flow freely.
Can you share anything about what you'll be making for the event? We do not want to give away all of the mystery, but I can say, my team and I will be tackling the Famous PieCaken (a pie that is baked inside a cake). My team plans on pushing the limits of flavors and baking physics as well as putting our signature over the top style into it.
If you're not in the kitchen, what might you be doing? When not in the kitchen, which is very rare, you can find me spending time with my husband and daughter, tending to my rare houseplant collection or menu planning with Chef John Dough.
Charles Froke, St. Croix Baking Co.
How and when did you get into baking? I got my start in baking at an early age making gingerbread houses with my mother. We would spend hours on these small houses that would be on display for the holidays. I always had the countdown going to when we could actually eat them. This led to me making super elaborate gingerbread houses for the Four Seasons Hotels lobbies where I was executive pastry chef.
I also got into baking with my grandmothers in making cookies for the holidays or just baking in general when I would visit them. They all played a huge part in my foundation of baking.
What bakery do you work at now and what's your history there? I am currently the chef/owner of St. Croix Baking Co. in Hudson. We opened just over a year ago and couldn’t be more excited to offer high quality baked goods for the river valley.
What is your favorite thing to prepare? My favorite thing to make is gingerbread houses. The only problem now is finding the 60-plus hours to dedicate to this love. We are super busy making other things for our guests special occasions or just a pick me up-sugar rush for the day. Next year we hope that life is, more, back to normal and will find the time to make a sweet creation.
What inclined you to participate in the hospital's Dessert Showdown? We are doing this as a fundraiser for the hospital which plays such an important role in our community in these trying times. Anything that helps bring in more money to help them help the people is a great thing!
Can you share anything about what you'll be making for the event? Sorry, top secret.
If you're not in the kitchen, what might you be doing? I can’t imagine doing anything else. I’d be lost without a kitchen.