The question chalked in rainbow on black elicits a range of colorful responses: To be a cartoonist, to write for Rolling Stone, have children, surf everything.
Elizabeth Weir of Whole Treats Bakery smiles and answers the question she herself wrote on the chalkboard.
“My dream was to own a bakery,” she said.
Elizabeth grew up with the kitchen as her canvas. As a young girl her baked goods frequently won ribbons at the county fair. The hobby followed her into adulthood; the mother of three stirred up batches of brownies and iced cupcakes for church gatherings, family celebrations, or just for the fun of it.
SMALL CHANGES, BIG MOVES
Four years ago, the changes in the Weir family’s life strangely came together. In an attempt to assuage her digestive problems, Elizabeth committed to an intense candida cleanse to rid her body of the problems she’d experienced her whole life. Elizabeth felt her cravings grow.
“I learned a lot about my unhealthy behaviors toward food,” Elizabeth said. But she couldn’t deny that she felt better and she continued experimenting.
While on the vegetable and protein diet, Elizabeth learned about alternative flours. “My house became a test kitchen,” Elizabeth said. She tried rice flours, potato flour, tapioca and spelt.
“I dove in and looked into gluten free,” Elizabeth said.
BAD NEWS BIRTHS BAKERY
During Elizabeth’s days elbow-deep in baking, her husband came home bearing the bad news: like so many people in 2008, he’d been laid off. Jack looked at his wife in the kitchen, saw mixing bowls everywhere and the oven with baked goods rising.
“Let’s start a bakery,” he told her.
Elizabeth described the year after their decision to start Whole Treats as “hitting the pavement and making phone calls.”
The new baker in town got her first exposure at Truckee Thursdays in 2010 and has grown to have clients all around Truckee Tahoe, as well as a few in Grass Valley. Whole Treats received certification as a gluten-free bakery from Whole Foods.
“We took a dream and went with it,” Elizabeth said. “I didn’t want to be 80 and say, ‘I should’ve opened that bakery!’”
Last month Whole Treats Bakery went from wholesale of gluten-free baked goods to its own storefront. Elizabeth calls Whole Treats her “little joy center.”
Her favorite words like dream, joy, hope, and eat are spelled out in decorative letters around old vintage clocks on the walls.
Whole Treats serves breakfast and lunch, French press coffee, loose leaf Tahoe teas, and of course, their well-known treats of cupcakes, muffins and quiche. The bakery is located in the Tri Counties Bank Plaza in Truckee (the outlet shopping center by Hometown Sears).
LIVING THE DREAM
Whole Treats likes to “fly under the radar” with the fact that the bakery is a gluten-free kitchen.
“I want people to fall in love with our product and then learn how healthy it is for you,” Elizabeth said.
The changes she has made to her lifestyle, including becoming an admitted Crossfit addict and adopting a vegetable and protein-rich diet, radiate from the baker. Cleared digestive problems, the notable weight loss and an increase in energy are things Elizabeth said “brought her back to life.”
And sharing what she has discovered through experimenting with food is what makes her dream bakery a dream come true.
“Because this happened, because we went after a dream, it is a testimony that if you have a dream, go for it! Because what’s the worst that could happen?” she asked.
The Weirs hope to grow and build the model they’ve created in Truckee to various locations around California. Whole Treats is open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. and closed Sundays.
“We took a dream and went with it. I didn’t want to be 80 and say, ‘I should’ve opened that bakery!’