Batter Chatter: Interview with Marin Turner of Sugar Girl Creations

Marin Turner has a dream. A sweet dream.

She's currently raising money to create a mobile bakery featuring the sweets she bakes under the name of "Sugar Girl Creations" in Idaho. Sweet fancy! That's my kind of dream.

Let's learn more about the lady behind the mixer, shall we? This is an interesting source of information for anyone interested in opening a small baking business--including the ups and downs, and all the sweet moments that go into caking it--er, making it--happen.

So...who are you are and how did you got into the business of baking? My name is Marin Turner and I am the baker/owner of Sugar Girl Creations. My journey to baking was a long one filled with so many different jobs that I can't even count. But through it all, you could always find me in the kitchen making something yummy. I heard the suggestion that I write a cookbook so often that I decided to try it. Starting with the dessert section (cake in particular), I spent a few weeks trying out new recipes. I tried to move on to the other sections, but I was always coming up with another cake that I wanted to try. I think at that point I just realized that, " I love cake and I don't want to make anything else." I started bringing everyone I knew cupcakes to test for me. One person was my spinning instructor. She dubbed me her "Sugar Girl". After that, starting the company seemed like a no brainer. I named my husband Chief Tasting Officer and we were off.

You're in the process of raising money to open a mobile bakery. Can you tell me more about how you're going about it?  The fundraising process is not an easy one. After some research on different ways to raise capitol, we decided to use the crowd funding website as our clearing house. Getting the word out that we are crowd funding really is an amazing process though. I am doing interviews on radio and the web, we are on Twitter @sugargirlidaho, and facebook too. I spend a lot of time just calling and emailing people to have them spread the word. IE... Harassing them. I am pretty sure that my family is hiding all of my posts on facebook at this point.

What has been the hardest part so far about trying to start up a business? - Idaho doesn't have cottage laws on the books, so in order to start we had to go through the health department and find a commercial kitchen to bake in. This can be an extremely cost prohibitive process. Some kitchens charge upwards of $20 an hour to work there and for a small business such as ours, that can eat your profit margin pretty quickly. Add to that the fact that you have to schedule a time to come in and bake and it makes it really hard to operate. Thats why we decided to branch out and build ourselves a mobile bakery.

As for the baked goods... Do you have a signature sweet or service? If so, what is it? - I would have to say that we don't have a signature service or sweet, but I definitely pride myself on my vegan cupcakes. We take part in a local vegetarian potluck once a month and I always try to come up with a new goodie to bring with us. I have tasted some vegan recipes that are just awful. And I really think that there is no excuse for that. I love it when people come up to me and have to ask me multiple times, " are you sure that was vegan?" It makes me smile, because I know they truly enjoyed it.

Hey! What flavor is "Jerry Cake"--this item on your menu intrigued me! - A Jerry Cake can be any flavor of cake that is light in color. I dye the batter to make it tye-dye in honor of Jerry Garcia. This cupcake is kind of a nod to my mother. She is my creative inspiration and one of the biggest "Dead Heads" I know.

What sweet do you suggest from your menu for Valentine's Day?  Really there are two that just say valentine to me. On the sweet and innocent side there is the Angel's Kiss. Its a pink champagne cake filled with an orange pastry cream and topped with our fresh strawberry and champagne buttercream. For the darker side of love, our MHC cupcake is super decadent and absolutely sexy. We start with with a dark chocolate cinnamon cake and we fill it with a cayenne dark chocolate ganache. The cupcake is also topped with a cinnamon whipped cream and a sprinkle of cayenne.

What's the secret to perfectly delicious frosting?   I have learned that patience is a virtue in baking. Don't rush the process. You really have to take your time beating the butter before you start adding sugar. I'll just turn the mixer on high and do something else for a while. Close to 6 or 7 minutes. This really gives me the texture I want. When I add the sugar, it cuts in nicely and gives me frosting that is fluffy and creamy all at the same time.

Excuse me...but please, tell me...what's a cookie mug? A cookie mug is everything you need to really enjoy a wonderful cookie. Our Hot Chocolate on a stick (to be melted into the mug filled with warm milk), Marshmallows, and a few of our yummy cookies (flavor varies and we do have vegan options)

What's next?  Right now we are puting all of our energy into opening the Sugar Shack, but in the future I would like to change our town's view on food trucks. Right now the town that we live in does not allow food trucks to park and sell. We will actually opperate out of a neighboring town. But there is a large lot here in town surrounded by trees that has been vacant for years. I would love to work with the owner of this lot to turn it into a food truck pod. There are so many wonderful chefs in our area and I think that this could really bring further growth to North Idaho.

For more, visit the Sugar Girl Creations website!