HANNIBAL, Mo. — A Hannibal pastry chef is witnessing sweet success in her large green bakery trailer for Confection Obsessions Bakery, in the lot behind Gabriella’s Mexican Restaurant in the Huck Finn Shopping Center.
Deserea Cullom’s love for baking started early, as she “grew up in the kitchen with my grandma and my mom” — Marilyn VanBoening and Jessica Cullom. She studied baking and pastry at Sullivan University, then pursued her dream when she opened Confection Obsessions Bakery in October.
Her plans to set up a storefront in Hannibal came to fruition when she opened the doors to her bakery trailer on Feb. 2, bringing a slow but steady stream of customers the first day.
“We’ve slowly gotten more and more people. We’ve already gotten repeat customers,” Cullom said. “I’m really hoping it just keeps growing.”
Cullom creates baked goods which blend traditional favorites with modern twists. She makes S’Mores brownies, large cookies like snickerdoodles, white chocolate chip and macadamia nut and peanut butter extreme, cakes, cupcakes, sweet breads and other confections. The ranger cookie is a treat Cullom’s grandmother made, using coconut, oats and rice cereal. Its sister, the dishpan cookie, is made with pecans and cornflakes.
Cullom has been keeping busy with Valentine’s Day coming soon, and she showed off a cake covered in pink icing, adorned with hearts.
Best sellers don’t stay on the shelves for long. Cheesecakes, S’Mores brownies and cream horns are the best sellers, and Cullom says the cream horns sell out no matter how many she makes — she sold 14 two-packs and four six-packs before noon last Saturday.
Cullom’s motto is “Sweets That Make You Smile,” and she shared a happy moment from a visit by a mother and her young daughter. Her mother said she could have a cookie, and the little girl was astounded by how big the cookies were.
“Usually places have pretty small cookies. And she came over and she’s like ‘I can have a big cookie?’, and (her mother) said ‘yeah, you can have a big cookie,” Cullom said. “And this little girl got the biggest smile on her face.”
Cullom said when she found out she didn’t have to split the cookie, she exclaimed “I get to eat the whole thing!”
Going forward, Cullom plans to add a second refrigerator and more varieties of treats, including cookie sandwiches for children and sugar-free treats. Another favorite, angel food cake, incorporates a family recipe for the marshmallow icing from her great-aunt LaVera Dickman. She got the recipe from the newspaper, and she still has the clipping dating back to 1926.
“That’s probably one of the oldest recipes we have in here,” Cullom said.
More information about Confection Obsessions Bakery is available by calling 573-721-2491, visiting confectionobsessionsbakery.com or the bakery’s Facebook page.