Best Kept Secret The Speak Easy Baking Co.
BrieAnna Arteaga-Marcel didn’t share her gift with the world, until a bit of a detour led her into the field she was destined for. Prior to starting her new cottage bakery, BrieAnna was a general manager for a wedding venue, first working for Wedgewood at Trilogy in Brentwood before being moved out to their Napa location. Learning a lot about people pleasing and making things special, she took that knowledge and poured it into the business she now calls The Speakeasy Baking Co. The leap into starting her own business wasn’t made easily. In fact, she stumbled into it by fate. In October 2014, BrieAnna tripped on a divot in the golf course and hurt her knee so badly she is now considered disabled. Says BrieAnna, “I was badly injured, got married on New Year’s Eve 2014, was abruptly laid off, and then found out I was pregnant all back-to-back.”
“My aunt told me I was really onto something and that I should definitely charge for my baked goods."
Taking some time to adjust to her new situation, BrieAnna settled into being a doting wife and mom, but in 2017, delved into baking as a hobby. Having an extremely large Mexican family full of many cousins in the 18 to 30 age group meant a lot of occasions to cater, and attendees always raved about her bakery recipes which were off the beaten path. One day, her aunt asked her to bring cookies to a relative’s baby shower. BrieAnna wouldn’t accept payment but walked away with a greater reward. “My aunt told me I was really onto something and that I should definitely charge for my baked goods. It was the first time in over three years that I felt like a businesswoman again. It meant even more to me because that aunt is Mrs. Fields sister. She had literally watched her sister propel her baked goods business into a dream-come-true success story, and here she was encouraging me to follow in her footsteps. I was inspired and became motivated to do just that.”
In 2019, she started her Instagram page to help connect to other bakers and build her skill set. It was through those connections that she got the opportunity to work with cookie cutter and apparel companies to create designs that are sold worldwide. The year 2020 allowed her to capture the stay-at-home baking audience, and after launching her recipes for sale, she is currently on track to hit 5,000 recipes sold, going out to 67 countries! Having social media marketing down to a science, in 2021, BrieAnna took advantage of Instagram reels, and her follower count skyrocketed. Her most successful reel hit 652,000 views at the end of August.
She had the following, she had the chops to create delectable desserts, she just needed a way to get them out to the masses. Her perfect picture of a way to display her treats was a vintage truck. When BrieAnna came across “Delilah” through a Craigslist ad, she ran to acquire the rare restored 1957 Piaggio Ape that had been imported from Italy and now sat on a San Francisco car lot. It is actually classified as a motorcycle truck, but Delilah is being modified with a large butcher block top that will sit on top of the bed of the truck, allowing for a large workable space for dessert and product displays. “According to the health department, Delilah is a fancy table. We will cart her to events and stage her with cake plates and pedestals using different elements to create a beautiful, bountiful, and elegant banquet of treats,” says BrieAnna.
October 3 will mark the 7-year anniversary of her life-changing knee injury. On that day, The Speakeasy Baking Co. will make their debut event appearance with Delilah at the Broken Road Farm’s Harvest Event in Brentwood. She will begin booking for private events, and throughout the holiday season will offer holiday pre-orders and a few pop-up sales and cookie decorating classes at The Craft Room in Brentwood.
“Just sharing one of her fabulous cookie’s list of ingredients is enough to send your sweet tooth into overdrive.”
"According to the health department, Delilah is a fancy table."
Just sharing one of her fabulous cookie’s list of ingredients is enough to send your sweet tooth into overdrive. Dive into the Chip & Dough-Anna Gains cookie write-up from her website: Salty-sweet and crunchy, topped with an espresso kiss for all of your hard work. This amazing cookie starts with browned butter and coffee dough–amazing all on its own. But that’s not enough for this cookie! We wanted to get a little crazy and mix some extra fun into this one. We decided to add ALL OF THE CHIPS! Semi-sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch, and, last but not least, kettle-cooked potato chips!
Kristin from Lavish Catering provided BrieAnna’s info to Michelle, the owner of Serendipity Cellars. On a personal note, as a 110° writer, I was elated to attend the soft opening of Serendipity cellars in August where The Speakeasy Baking Co. served up packaged cookies as part of the catering. After personally sampling one of BrieAnna’s chocolate chip cookies, I can attest to it being the very best cookie I have ever had—memorable and standout over hundreds sampled throughout my lifetime of travels.” Says BrieAnna, “Things may not go according to plan, but it’s how we pivot that makes the recipe for success work!” Indeed, The Speakeasy Baking Co. is set for a phenomenal future, so long as they keep rolling out the goods they’re baking up now.
Photos By Alexyss with Lex Kaptures