File this under the category, “Might Be More Than a Hobby.” The home kitchen mixer Tiffany Cable used to make treats for family and friends measured 5 feet tall and nearly 1,000 pounds. Vaguely resembling a cross between a Star Wars robot and an offensive lineman, the Hobart 60-quart model is known in highbrow baking circles as a “planetary floor mixer” – because, you know, just try setting that bad boy up on the counter.
Today, the mixer is no longer encroaching on Tiffany’s dining room but resides in a more natural habitat: The Blissful Whisk, a 3,500-square-foot bakery that opened in May.
Hindsight may have seen this day coming. Like an adrenaline-junky staring down a mountain cliff, Tiffany has always sought excuses for her next big baking rush. During the years she helped run the family’s technology company, she brought in treats for the entire staff once a week. (“We found, after a while, that no one would take Fridays off,” she laughed.) When her two daughters invited their friends over, she would host baking challenges. (“Best chocolate chip cookie wins, and take home all the leftovers.”) When the kids moved on to college, she regularly mailed delectable care packages to them. (And to several of their friends located all over the country.)
Baking is what Tiffany Cable loved to do. And so she spent a fortune doing it.
“Mom,” daughter Haley essentially told her, intervention style. “You’re crazy. Start a business.”
Haley Cable even drafted a business plan revolving around a care package subscription service. Coming as it did around the same time as a divorce and the sale of the family business, this “imaginary business plan” struck a chord.
So she enrolled in the Inland Northwest Culinary Academy’s baking program at Spokane Community College and began dreaming about — in the vernacular of her shop – taking a whisk.
A few months into her Blissful Whisk journey, “it has gone way better than I ever expected that it could,” Tiffany said, citing a supportive community, excellent staff, and local, fresh ingredients.
“I don’t buy frozen things,” Tiffany said. “I bake from scratch — everything, every day.”
A certain well-used, half-ton appliance can vouch for that.
Tiffany Cable was walking down the street in Astoria, Ore., on a celebration vacation — she had just graduated from culinary school and signed the lease for her bakery — when she noticed a giant whisk in the window of a reclaimed furniture store. Inquiring within, she learned it was from an 80-quart, 1920s-era Hobart mixer used by a local bakery that opened in Astoria in 1902. It was freshly donated to the furniture store by the wife of the third generation baker-owner. He had recently passed away.
“I’m hoping he followed me to the bakery, and I have a baker looking over my shoulder making sure I’m not screwing up, because he did this so long and was really loved in that community,” Tiffany said.
The Blissful Whisk was born, and that whisk is now part of the decor. In fact, so much of the identity of the business revolves around the “whisk” theme, that one has to wonder what might have been if not for that fateful stroll through Astoria. Tiffany’s name for her new bakery before that day? “The Cracked Mug.”
This bakery is whisk-y business, from the decorative wallpaper to the whisk-shaped light fixtures over each table. (Fun fact: These “lights” are actual whisk attachments to a 20-quart Hobart mixer.) The owner’s personal touches are everywhere, from the “Tiffany” blue color scheme to the teapots (her drink of choice) that line the walls. The bakery includes ample seating, particularly when you factor in the adjoining teaching kitchen that can be closed off for meetings or classes.
THE TOP PICK
Lead Barista Tasha Branning and Manager Gena Ceresero both recommend an Iced Americano (Tasha adds chocolate powder and caramel sauce; Gena keeps it simple with heavy whipping cream). On the bakery side, the Huckleberry Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Scone has been the best-seller from day one.
THE CULT FAVORITE
The Bacon Jalapeno Pepperjack Scone, which has been known to be purchased as a joke only to turn into an obsession.
THE TIME WHEN …
A local TV station scheduled a story on The Blissful Whisk shortly after it opened, and so Tiffany went above and beyond to make sure the case was filled with eye-catching, delectable treats. But when the camera crew arrived, they honed in on a patio customer who bought a from-scratch, Blissful Whisk dog biscuit for her canine companion.
“They literally did not film any of the case of stuff I worked so hard to make; the only thing they talked about was the dog biscuits,” Tiffany said. “We got a ton of business from it, but literally I spend hours every morning making everything in that case, and they focused on the dog biscuits.”
She joked to being “only a little bit insulted,” especially since something she initially thought to be a fair-weather business has expanded instead.
People will literally pay more for a dog biscuit than they will for a pastry.Tiffany Cable, The Blissful Whisk
“We do dog cakes now,” Tiffany said. “It’s all natural. It has carrots and apples and peanut butter in it, and then we split it and put banana in the center and frost it with mashed potatoes, dyed with huckleberries so it’s purple. Then we decorate with dog bones on top, and you have a dog birthday cake.”
Though a dog lover herself, Tiffany admits surprise at the extent people pamper their pooches.
“I think it’s hilarious, honestly, that people will literally pay more for a dog biscuit than they will for a pastry,” she said. “They will complain about the price of the pastry, but they will pay anything for a dog biscuit.”
The Blissful Whisk employs 13 staff members. Spokane’s Ionic Coffee roasts a special “Blissful Blend.” Other local partners include Mandala Chai, the Kitchen Engine (loose tea), Twenty Seventh Heaven (loaf bread) and Spokandy (truffles), among others.
Ionic Coffee’s ‘Blissful Blend’
1612 N. Barker Road, Spokane Valley
@theblissfulwhiskspokane on Facebook and Instagram
Thanks to Blissful Whisk owner Tiffany Cable for sharing her story with me.
— Josh Johnson (soccer jersey: Orlando City SC)
What would Tiffany select off her own menu?
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