Sugar Daddy’s Bakery in Galesburg offers specialty cupcakes, cookies
GALESBURG – Lots of 8-year-olds love cupcakes, but how many actually love baking them? Better yet, can you name one who has their own bakery business?
This is the case of Raleigh Gibbons, a third-grade student at Silas Elementary School. Gibbons, with much help from her mother Jessica Gibbons and her family, is the face and inspiration behind Sugar Daddy’s Bakery in Galesburg.
Sugar Daddy’s Bakery offers specialty decorated cupcakes, cakesciles, cheesecake bites and cookies through an informal online store.
Jessica Gibbons assists Raleigh in this Q&A interview for The Register-Mail.
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Q: Tell us how Sugar Daddy’s Bakery started? What was the idea or inspiration that led to the business?
Gibbons: The bakery started after Raleigh discovered “Bake Squad” on Netflix. After finishing this show, he decided to YouTube how to bake and decorate cupcakes. After LOTS of flour, sugar and eggs, he perfected his iconic strawberry shortcake cupcake and asked me if he could open a bakery.
At first, he didn’t really have any plans on what he was going to do with his income, but it didn’t take him long to make up his mind. He wants to go to Disney! He got down to business and had fun for a few weekends and realized he needed not only a short term goal, but also a longer term goal. and long term.
Once he gets to Disney, he plans to buy a double oven to speed up the process (one pan at a time takes a long time, he’s learned), and then when that’s done, he saves up for a cupcake truck. I have no doubt that he will make all of these goals a reality!
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Q: What does production look like? Where is it done? When is it done? Who manages what?
Gibbons: Production takes place almost every weekend with us. The process begins on Friday after dinner and continues throughout the weekend. It’s not uncommon for Raleigh to wake up at 5 a.m. which he never complains about but asks Orange Cup Java to help him out. Or maybe he really likes a mixed snickers drink and makes me think it’s a necessity. Raleigh bakes all recipes from scratch and decorates them with homemade frosting. No box ever mixes! I, his mother, manage the oven and everything that needs to be heated on the stove. I also manage all orders and inventory for him; however, he buys all of his own supplies with the money he has earned. When I asked him what his favorite part of the baking process was, he said “sifting the flour”. Her favorite part of the whole process is giving people a great treat to eat, especially for birthdays!
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Q: Who comes up with ideas for your cupcakes? What were your most popular?
Gibbons: Raleigh has always been a sweet tooth! He is mostly inspired by what he eats. He also continues to watch many baking shows and gets a lot of inspiration from them. Every time he hands out an order of cupcakes, he asks for feedback and flavor ideas. The most popular cupcakes are: strawberry and lemon shortcake.
Q: What is your baking experience?
Gibbons: No baking experience, just the little guy’s love for science and food. I always thought it was extremely important to have my children in the kitchen with me. One of our favorite traditions is making sugar cookies at Christmas!
Raleigh’s ultimate goal is to own a cupcake truck
Q: How far do you plan to take the company? Expansion plans?
Gibbons: Raleigh’s ultimate goal is to own a cupcake truck. Kind of like an ice cream truck but showcasing its cupcakes and other items. We’ve had a lot of requests to ship the products but haven’t quite mastered that yet.
Q: Tell us about Raleigh! How old is he? Where does he go to school? He obviously loves baking. What else does he like to do?
Gibbons: Raleigh is 8 and a half, he will be 9 in July. Currently attending Silas Willard Elementary School. He loves to cook, but when he’s not cooking you can find him playing sports, practicing his guitar, watching YouTube or Netflix or maybe even playing Minecraft.
Family acts as taste testers
Q: Please give us some biographical information. Where are you from and what do you do?
Gibbons: I grew up in Abingdon and moved to Galesburg. My husband and I have five children. Raleigh is our youngest. I am responsible for customer service at Ferrellgas. We want to thank our family (husband Heath Gibbons and siblings) for being so amazing and supporting us as we venture to let Raleigh pursue her passion. They’ve been known to step in and get cupcakes out of the oven, run to the store when we run out of an ingredient, help get packages of cupcakes or out the door. They’re also the best taste testers of all time and don’t seem to mind answering endless questions about their little brothers’ stuff. Their support makes this possible.