For anyone who frequents the Farmers’ Market, the seductive sweet treats and baked goods that Tracy Bauer, who also dons the monikers of The Nutty Baker and the Crazy Pie Lady, whips up on a weekly basis have surely tempted those even on the most strict of diets.
For Bauer, who operates out of Kersley, just outside of Quesnel, the idea of operating as a vendor at a farmers market is nothing new, as her roots are deeply ingrained in the whole affair.
“I was raised by a mom and dad who were incredibly involved in their farmers’ market since I was about five years old,” said Bauer. “I kind of carried on the family tradition in a way, and it definitely comes naturally to me.”
But Bauer isn’t just baking a plethora of home-baked goods because it runs in the family. She believes sharing her passion for baking is something she was meant to pursue.
“It’s a calling,” said Bauer. “It’s what I really love. I’ve done many jobs, but baking keeps coming back to me. I get a warm feeling and I truly believe it’s right. It’s what I was meant to do.”
Of the bountiful assortment of goods she offers at the Farmers’ Market each week — 13 different kinds of cheesecakes, seven unique cookies, nine loaves, six kinds of squares and 15 different kinds of fruit pies, among others — Bauer’s favourite to make is definitely the pies.
“I love making the pies,” said Bauer. “Rolling out the dough, just everything about it, I love. It really calms me down. It’s almost therapeutic in a way. I feel like it has been a gift for me because I always feel like I know what I’m doing. I’m comfortable doing it.
Although the market roots run deep in Bauer’s family, her intrinsic love of baking has brought her back time and time again, even when she was out pursuing other options.
“Since I was raised doing this, I think it’s just that deep knowledge I have rooted in me that draws me to baking,” said Bauer. “You know when you start a job and you kind of start to realize it is not really your thing? I’ve never felt like that with this. It’s just kept calling me back.”
Sometimes spending up to 18 hours a day working on creating her popular items, Bauer explained that she never really feels like she is working. She’s just doing what she loves.
She is as busy as she ever has been, and Bauer is looking to grow her business, hoping new opportunities for opening stores will be come in the near future. For now, however, she is completely content continuing what she loves to do — share her love of baked-goods with local communities.
You can find Bauer out at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market every Saturday from 8:30 until 1 and at the Williams Lake Farmers’ Market every Friday from 9 until 2.