Necessity was the mother of a new bakery that opens Saturday in Hallsville.
Miranda Kyles started figuring out how to bake and cook without dairy in about 2015, because her fiancee and business partner, Bryan Lett, can't have dairy. She was looking for a bakery that would make him a dairy-free birthday cake and couldn't find one.
"It all kind of started from there," she said.
It culminates Saturday when she opens Utterly Free Bakery at 224 Renaissance in the Forest Hills Shopping Center in Hallsville. The grand opening is from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Her bakery features cupcakes, cookies, French-style macarons and single layer cakes. The bakery also will stock an assortment of items friendly to other allergies, and special orders are available.
Kyles has been taking people's special orders and cooking out of her home since 2019.
"We started out dairy free," Kyles said, but soon people were asking for all kinds of specialty items — gluten free, sugar free and vegan, for instance. Everything remains dairy free, but other options are available. "Now, we're just an allergy-friendly bakery."
She recently began regularly stocking macarons — which her mother, Angela Kyles, bakes — at Sugar Sugar Beauty Haus in downtown Longview. Kyles said owner Brittni Pierson contacted her about stocking items in the salon after Kyles had posted about her business in the All Things Longview Facebook group. Orders, she said, began to take off.
"We blew up overnight," Kyles said, with likes on her bakery page going from 30 likes to 600 in 24 hours.
Her fiancee encouraged her to open a brick-and-mortar store and helped make some of the furnishings in the bakery. The store invites people to sit and stay for a while with a couch, stuffed chairs, a bar to sit at at one window and small tables and chairs around the bakery.
"I wouldn't be here without his support," she said. The couple has three children.
She's planning to have music, art events, date nights and other special activities to make Utterly Free Bakery a place where people can go to hang and out and have fun without having to go to Longview, she said.
Later, they plan to open a space for events in an 800-square-foot space attached to the store.
The special discounts and activities the bakery will offer include a birthday club and a special incentive for school-age children. On report card day, they just have to bring their report card to the bakery and tell Kyles why they're proud of themselves — regardless of the grades they received.
"I'll give you a free cupcake," she said.
Kyles was a stay-at-home mother who was a student in the radiology program at Kilgore College when she first started baking. Her whole life has changed.
"It's right-side up now, but yeah, life has changed," she said.
Utterly Free Bakery is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.