At 14 years of age, Tamara Hester’s mother enrolled her in a Wilton cooking class at JC Penny’s Department store.
“We would start our cake in class and take it home to finish it,” Tamara said. “One day my dad’s business partner was watching me decorate a cake and he told my father, ‘She will own a bakery some day. She is too good.’”
The prediction her dad’s friend made came true but it was a long time in coming.
Tamara got her experience baking cakes for free in high school, never for pay, just for the joy of baking and the kudos she received but not any more. The prediction her dad’s friend made came true but it was a long time in coming.
She and her husband, Russ Hester, recently opened County Line Bakery on Waterloo and Broadway in a strip mall surrounded by other business.
“I put a sign up that said, ‘County Line Bakery Opening Soon’ and one day I cut off part of the sign leaving County Line Bakery Open,” Tamara said.
Tamara said people started stopping by saying, “Wow, your door actually works,” and “Do you make coconut pies?” The line of customers hasn’t let up since the first day they opened. In fact they haven’t had a chance to have a grand opening they have been so busy.
It was the customers who asked for what was to become their signature pie, a coconut one.
“We use toasted coconut and shredded coconut both in the pie,” Tamara said, “and our own special pick vanilla, one of five different vanillas we use in baking depending on what we are making.”
She and her son, Logan, a trained chef and a former North High School graduate who attended Francis Tuttle and then culinary school at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, N.C., were the first two full-time employees. They recently added a third, a former pastry chef with Devon. Since then they have added four additional full- or part-time employees.
“We open the day with breakfast and pastry items including bread puddings, cinnamon rolls, Danish, muffins, scones and quick breads,” Tamara said.
They have 13 cakes, 18 cookies, 11 pies, 10 bars and treats and the always in demand puppy chow.
“My 16-year-old daughter, Jenna, and her sister sold bags and bags of puppy chow to raise money for BALTO at North High School,” Tamara said.If you have a favorite recipe but you don’t have the time to make it, Tamara said to bring it in. If you have a photo or a downloaded picture from the Internet, bring it in and let them do your baking and decorating for you.
“We want our bakery to stand apart. Food plays such a huge role in American lives, and it plays a huge part in our traditions,” Tamara said. “We set out to make quality products that are reasonably priced and our goal is to stay in business until that 1-year-old celebrates his 18th birthday with a cake baked by us each year.”
Wedding cakes are baked from scratch and are never frozen. More than 80 percent of their production is done on site, Tamara said.
Tamara and Russ chose Edmond to raise their family almost 16 years ago because of its sense of family and community, Tamara said.
While Logan talks about viscosity, looking at the ratios of elements and flavors and when to use each of their five types of vanilla, his father manages the business end and his mother tells why each of their items is full of flavor and richness.
“Our apple pie is made of marinated apple slices, that are roasted before putting them into the pie shell and then topping the pie with a Brown Betty apple topping,” Tamara said. “We call it a twice baked Brown Betty Apple pie.
“Some of our items are not ones you will find at other bakeries. We have a molasses baked cookie made from Black Strap Molasses.”
One breakfast item in demand is the cinnamon roll bread pudding with Anglaise sauce. They also make their cinnamon rolls in a tin with the glaze on the side.
“Once you get to where you are going, whether it is home or to work, pop the pan in the oven to warm the rolls up and then put the glaze on them.
She added her 18-year-old daughter, Rachel, makes the most amazing No-Bake cookie with peanut butter and chocolate chips.
“The cookie dough is made on top of the stove, and Rachel knows just when to take them off the stove. We cannot keep them in stock; they sell so quickly,” Tamara said.
With three of her children, herself and her husband all part of the family business, daughter Lizzie has pursued her own business path but does find time to sample the products.
Tamara said she always is asking, “What does the community want?”
Store hours are 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
“Someone is usually there by 6:30 a.m. If the lights are on, we are here,” Tamara said. “Just knock on the door. Sometimes we may be up to our elbows in icing so give us a chance to get to the front.”
With items baked to order, not baked to the box, Tamara said to give as much notice as possible for wedding cakes. Custom cakes need two weeks lead time to be safe.
“We always have something in the cases ready to be picked up for those last-minute desserts, pies or cakes,” Tamara said, “and the items we offer change daily.”
FOR MORE information go to www.countylinebakery.com. They also can be found on Facebook and Twitter. Located at 121 E. Waterloo Road in Edmond, call 757-1950 to place an order.
County Line Bakery features 13 cake flavors
At 14 years of age, Tamara Hester’s mother enrolled her in a Wilton cooking class at JC Penny’s Department store.
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Guthrie-Edmond airport looks to upgrade
The Guthrie-Edmond Regional Airport board was told Tuesday by officials from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission that GERA is in good shape but work needs to continue to help maximize everything the airport has to offer.
The board was given a presentation by OAC director Vic Bird and Dale Williams, OAC planning division manager about the state of the aviation industry in Oklahoma and how airports the size of GERA are faring.
Cold impacts Edmond businesses, city services
Roger Seaton is operating manager of Edmond Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing, 3104 South Kelly Ave., owned by the Seaton family since 1970.
On Tuesday, for the first time in days, the temperature in the Edmond area rose above 32 degrees. At 2:53 p.m. Tuesday, the temperature was 41 degrees at the Guthrie-Edmond Regional Airport, surpassing the predicted high of 34, according to the National Weather Service.
Seaton’s business offers plumbing services including water line work and repairs to faucets in the kitchen and bathroom. When it comes to plumbing calls, pipes that burst are a priority, Seaton said. It takes a while for pipes to freeze, he said, and residents began calling by Friday. Calls during the cold spell were both about frozen pipes and pipes that had burst.
If you have no water coming out of a faucet, shut off the water upstream and open cabinet doors to get warmer air circulating around pipes, Seaton said.
City alerts public to repeat utility scam
City administrators and public safety officials are jointly warning residents of a scam that has surfaced once again in our area.
Edmond Police Department spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said a few months ago OG&E warned customers of a phone scam in which a customer is called by a person falsely representing themselves as an OG&E employee.
Monroe said the caller says if the customer doesn’t make a payment on their delinquent account in the next 45 minutes to an hour their utility services will be suspended. Monroe said the caller requests credit card information or that they purchase a money card and provide that account information.
Memorial Booster Club postpones Taste of Memorial
Because school has been canceled for today, the Taste of Memorial has been rescheduled for 4:30-7:30 p.m. Jan. 7, 2014. Taste of Memorial has food from more than 30 local restaurants such as Alvarado’s, Flatire Burgers, Fish City, Boulevard Steakhouse, Garbanzo, Chicken Express, The Meat House, Panera and Earl’s to name just a few. A silent auction will be held with more than 140 auction items from local and regional merchants. The tickets are $10 from a Memorial athlete or $15 at the door. The money raised goes to Edmond Memorial Booster Club to help support Edmond Memorial athletics.
Oklahoma Venture Forum to meet Wednesday
The December luncheon of the Oklahoma Venture Forum will be at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday at the Presbyterian Health Foundation Research Park Conference Center, at 655 Research Parkway, Suite 100 in Oklahoma City. For directions to PHFCC, visit www.phfcc.com/directions.htm.
The guest speaker will be: Stephen Prescott, president, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, and the entrepreneurial presenter will be Ryan Laughlin, co-founder/CEO, ClassMind.
RSVP may be made to 341-6545. The cost for guests is $35. For more information, go online to www.ovf.org.
Allegiant celebrates new nonstop service between Oklahoma City, Orlando
Allegiant recently announced new nonstop jet service between Oklahoma City and Orlando via Orlando/Sanford International Airport. The company, known for its exceptional travel deals, is offering promotional fares as low as $59 one way.
“We are pleased to bring a new, affordable and convenient travel option to the residents of Oklahoma City,” said Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant Travel Company president. “We are confident the Central Oklahoma community will appreciate the convenience of flying nonstop to Orlando and the added savings of bundling their air, hotel and car rental reservation together.”
Federal energy efficiency tax credits ending in 2013
If you are planning to do some home improvements to make your home more energy efficient, now is the time to take action. Multiple federal energy efficiency tax credits are set to expire permanently at the end of the year.
Oklahomans have until Dec. 31 to take advantage of a cumulative maximum of $500 in credits for energy-related improvements completed in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The credits are a cumulative maximum of $1,500 for improvements done in 2009 and 2010.
The tax credits are for energy improvements done to existing homes owned by you, and used as your principal residence, said Scott Frazier, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension energy management engineer. New construction and rentals are not eligible for these federal tax credits.
AHS staffing prepares for growth
AHS Staffing plans to move in to its new 4,500-square-foot building in Edmond by Dec. 15.
“We’re excited to move to the next phase of our strategic growth plan and are pleased to be doing it in a great community like Edmond,” said Jerick Henley, president of AHS Staffing.
The new office will be at 3051 Willowood Road in Edmond.
Oklahoma-based AHS Staffing was founded in April 2010 following the acquisition of Houston-based PharmStat Staffing LLC. Since then the company has grown to 10 full-time employees, but projects to double that number in the next few years.
“We started out as a Pharmacy Staffing Agency but now we have a team dedicated to the dialysis industry as well,” Henley said.
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