The story of Blondies’ Bakery in Stansbury Park begins with a tween, 12-year-old Brylie Gygi, who wanted to dance.
“Dancing has been a big part of my life and it costs a lot of moolah,” Brylie said.
Her family created a small company named PB&J, after letters in family names, for Brylie to have bake sales to help pay for dance. The business lasted a couple of weeks.
“I always asked Sophie for help because we’re close friends,” Brylie said. They decided to join forces.
Brylie met Sophie Tate, who is also 12 years old, in first-grade class in Stansbury Park. She knew Sophie loved cooking and danced as well.
In March 2018, the two towheaded tweens changed PB&J to Blondie’s Bakery. The name came when Sophie asked her cousin what she thought they should call the bakery.
“She was like, ‘what if you named it Blondies’ Bakery because you are both blonde,’” Sophie said.
Sophie’s passion for cooking started when she saw Princess Tiana’s zeal for cooking and restaurants in the movie, “The Princess and the Frog” when she was around two years old.
“My mom got me a Tiana princess dress, and ever since then, I wanted a restaurant and I started cooking,” Sophie said.
Sophie began helping her parents with family cooking as a toddler, and cooked before she baked. She knows culinary cuts and explains how mincing is different than small squares in cubing and dicing.
“Mincing is like itty-bitty tiny squares,” she said.
Sophie says mincing can make disgusting things taste really good because, like garlic and ginger, they become almost like a paste.
“I bake to sell, but I cook for home and my own testing purposes,” Sophie said.
Brylie’s interest in cooking developed when she saw Sophie cook and she decided to try it. She watched Food Network, did baking school and birthday projects.
“I really grew into a love of baking along with my dancing,” Brylie said.
Brylie claims her cooking expertise is limited to frozen foods. Her talents land solely in baking.
Blondies’ Bakery operates out of Sophie’s house. Both girls have their Food Handlers Permits. They need orders a week in advance, and the best way to order is to message Blondies’ Bakery on Facebook or Instagram. Blondies’ delivers to the customer.
Cupcakes started their business, but their menu includes custom cakes, cookies and pies. They allow customers to mix and match to make their own creation.
“I would say our major business is cupcakes, because that is how we started off,” Brylie said.
The key lime pie, raspberry lemon, and chocolate caramel cupcakes are the most popular. They understand there needs to be a good balance between the cupcake and icing.
“You don’t want to have too much cake because it’s very dry. Then too much frosting is just a little too overbearing because it’s very sweet,” Sophie said.
“You look at height and how much you press in the piping bag and start a centimeter from the edge,” Brylie said.
Brylie changed her four icing circles to two or three when Sophie told her four was too sweet.
The tweens create their menus from basic recipes.
“I have my basic vanilla cake, and basic frosting recipe. I usually make up the rest,” Sophie said. “I take what I already know about baking and then I just kind of guess.”
The basic cake recipe can need adjustments for altitude, which affects baking times and batter consistency. Flavorings are also tricky. Sophie said dry flavorings are added to dry ingredients; liquid flavoring is more complicated.
“Cakes are very sensitive, so with a liquid flavoring, you would take out some of the original liquid,” Sophie said. “For example, with a lemon cake, replace half of the milk with lemon juice.”
They figured out Dole-whip cupcake frosting by trial and error.
“We would always add too much juice from the pineapple or too much pineapple, or powdered sugar so we had to toss it all out and restart,” Sophie said.
“It tasted good, [but] it did not look appetizing,” Brylie said.
Overall, Sophie bakes and Brylie decorates.
“She’s the better baker, and I’m the better piper. It’s kind of a good force that we have,” Brylie said. Sometimes they switch it up so they can get better at both.
They create their own decorating designs, but use the internet for inspiration. Brylie created a flower-like star by holding the startip on one place and pressing.
Eating presents a temptation while they bake.
“We try to not eat our profit,” Brylie said, who claims she is a bad eating example.
Sophie’s recipes always make two extra.
“So we definitely eat a lot,” Sophie said.
Every other week their mothers check Blondies’ orders and shop at Costco.
“Our moms help us price out like cakes and stuff,” Sophie said.
Their original price is $15 for a dozen cupcakes, but if the cupcakes demand fruit or extra elements, the price can go up a little.
During regular months the tweens estimate they spend between 15-20 hours baking.
Sophie calls months like September and August timid months when they do one or two orders a week.
“The timid months aren’t as crazy and big and extravagant,” Sophie said.
Brylie originally thought they would always be very small with only an order a week.
“I’m really proud of us because I did not know we would get this far,” Brylie said.
They have baked cupcakes for a couple of weddings. However, Sophie believes she will be ready to make a wedding cake when she is 14. Brylie feels like she could do a good job piping the icing.
“People might think that since we’re younger we might screw up on their big day cake,” Brylie said. “Oh, sorry, we messed up — but here you go.”
“We’re mostly known for our cupcakes, so that’s what we make at weddings,” Sophie said.
Sophie appeared in a televised national baking competition this year that gave Blondies’ Bakery its widest recognition. After the competition, both girls appeared on Fox 13, and Sophie appeared on Good Things Utah.
Brylie’s favorite Blondies’ experience was the live, five-minute Fox 13 interview. Sophie gave Brylie some interviewing tips she learned at the competition, like staring at the camera looks weird.
“I didn’t freak out and go like, uh huh, uh huh, like a robot,” Brylie said “ I’m kind of timid when it comes to interviews. Sophie is more of the talker.”
“I like talking,” Sophie said.
Sophie thinks creating new cupcakes is the best Blondies’ experience.
“Everytime we bake something, we learn more,” Sophie said.
Sophie’s profits go toward her dream of owning a restaurant. She will earn a business degree and cooking credentials first.
“I want to go to Cordon Bleu for my culinary and pastry degree,” Sophie said.
Brylie feels cooking will always be a hobby.
“My kids are not gonna complain about their food is what I hope for,” Brylie said.
Sophie likes to know how to improve at Blondies.
“Sometimes I ask friends and family what I could do better,” Sophie said, “I want to know things that maybe we could fix.”
Both tweens say Blondies has taught them money management, baking, going with the flow, and teamwork. Sophie had a confession when it comes to teamwork.
“I do like to takeover sometimes,” Sophie said.
Sometimes baking seems impossible because they are so busy. When they feel overwhelmed, both tweens agree that making cupcakes improves their mood, so they go to the kitchen and bake.