BEYOND BAKING Your baking industry news source

Introducing the new and improved Beyond Baking!

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WBA supports our members by providing access to education and resources to grow business and enhance customer experience through: shared industry knowledge, dynamic networking opportunities, and strategic partnerships.


To be the premier partner in the baking industry through World-class professional relationships, Building successful businesses; and Advocating for bakers of tomorrow.

What's Inside


Wisconsin's Economic Forecast - The Wisconsin Department of Revenue has issued its Wisconsin Economic Forecast Update. Highlights from the report include: the US and Wisconsin economies will continue to grow in 2020. Personal consumption growth will be the main driver, helped by wage increases, low interest rates, and low inflation; US real GDP grew 2.9% in 2018. The forecast expects growth of 2.3% in 2019 and 2.1% in 2020; Wisconsin employment is expected to grow 0.7% in 2020 and 0.4% in 2021. The Manufacturing and Education and Health Services sectors will be the largest contributors to jobs growth in 2020; US employment is forecasted to grow 1.2% in 2020 and 0.8% in 2021, while US personal income will grow 4.8% in 2020 and 3.9% in 2021; and Wisconsin's personal income is expected to increase 4.1% in 2019 and 3.4% in 2020. Wisconsin real personal income will grow 2.5% and 1.4%, respectively. Access the Forecast Update here.

New W-4 Form: 10 Things Small Businesses Need to Know - Due to changes in various tax rules made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the IRS has completely redesigned Form W-4 for 2020, which is used for income tax withholding purposes. The new form is intended to be more transparent and produce greater accuracy in withholding. Employers need to know when and how to incorporate the new form into their payroll practices. Learn more

Flour Market Highlights - Wheat Futures prices have fallen back this week. Ag markets may already have been due for a correction, but they fell back on news of increased tensions in the Middle East.Basis premium prices were mostly firm.Winter wheat conditions reported by state last week worsened from the prior week. Drought conditions improved, however, and it will be some time before these reports will have a significant impact on the market as the crop lies dormant.Market participants are eager to absorb information in tomorrow’s USDA reports. More will be learned about U.S. acres planted to winter wheat, world demand estimates, up to date grain stocks and 2019 production.U.S. prices remain at a premium, export sales were not impressive. More about the direction U.S. wheat prices will take will be understood following tomorrow’s reports. Learn more here


"If your bakery has a small cafe component or dining area, offering free Wi-Fi to guests is an excellent way to generate customer traffic. Potential customers will re-imagine your establishment as a place to catch up on work or personal e-mail correspondence as well as to enjoy baked goods. Providing free Wi-Fi is also a great way to build a return customer base, as it offers an incentive for customers to begin or end their commutes at your bakery."
  1. When offering free Wi-Fi to your guests, consider the speed you are offering. If it's free but it's taking forever to load a browser, the customer likely won't be able to get much work done and will go elsewhere.
  2. Make it as easy as possible to connect to your Wi-Fi. I recently visited a local cafe that didn't have the Wi-Fi information posted anywhere. To connect, you needed to speak to an employee and request the password. Skip the password and instead setup an easy way to connect.
  3. In addition to offering Wi-Fi, have accessible outlets for customers to charge laptops and phones.



Member Renewals - It's time to renew your WBA membership! Being a member of WBA gives you access to an incredible network of baking industry professionals to socialize and discuss ideas with and you do not want to miss the great events we have planned for the upcoming year! Look for your membership renewal in your inbox! Please keep a look out for yours and let me know if you have any questions. If you haven't received anything yet, please let us know. Thanks in advance for renewing! 🙏


Meet MK Drayna, Pastry Cook at Harbor House and MATC Grad

Everyone has memories of baking with their parents or grandparents when they are really little, and of course MK does, too. For MK, her passion for baking didn't truly begin until high school. Baking gave her the freedom to express her creativity while simultaneously serving as a much needed stress reliever. The very first cake she made was an ombre design and the colors were dark red to white with raspberries.

While working at her first job at a Michael's store, MK met the mother and daughter owners of Slice Custom Cakes that were at the store shopping for Halloween decorations. She went in for an interview the following week and worked there for about a year and a half. The time she spent working at Slice solidified her decision to pursue a baking career.

MK recently graduated from MATC's Baking and Pastry Arts Program in 2019. She started working at Harbor House as a hostess and within a few months accepted a position in the kitchen as a Pastry Cook where she enjoys the opportunity to create dessert specials. MK was awarded Employee of the Year by Harbor House just a few weeks ago.

As a student, MK joined WBA to meet other people in the industry and had a great time volunteering at last year's Paczki Party. She's excited about leading a hands-on demo on plating desserts in the Pastry Studio at the Midwest Foodservice Expo in March. "There's endless opportunities to keep learning, growing, and connecting with other people in the industry and that's what I love about WBA and the baking community. Everyone is so supportive."

Admittedly a pretty competitive person but in a nice way, MK really enjoys entering competitions. She's competed in MATC's annual Gingerbread House Competition several times and has also entered the cake competitions at the Midwest Foodservice Expo as well as the Grocer's Innovation Expo. Her most memorable and favorite entry was a 3-D Frankenstein head cake she entered at the Grocer's show in Green Bay and took first place. Frankenstein has been MK's favorite novel since she read it in high school.

Her advice for anyone just getting started in baking, "Say Yes." MK contributes her success to luck, her supportive family, and always saying yes to opportunities that come her way. When she was commissioned by North Shore Boulangerie to create a gingerbread village to display in the bakery, she said yes. The featured article on OnMilwaukee.com that resulted from creating the display is one of her proudest achievements.

When she's not baking, MK enjoys spending time with her family and friends and her boyfriend, Kyle. She loves playing ultimate frisbee and is looking forward to traveling this summer to Europe.

  • Dream Job - Cake Decorator for a company or Restaurant Group
  • Favorite thing to bake - Cinnamon Rolls with icing and a little orange zest!
  • Most Irresistible Dessert - Anything with Peanut Butter and Chocolate!
  • Biggest Accomplishment - Being Awarded Employee of the Year tied with being featured in an OnMilwaukee.com article

Facebook & Instagram: @whisk.chick

Website: https://mkdrayna.wixsite.com/whiskchick


We field many questions from our members but I'll be the first to admit, I don't have all the answers! Fortunately, being a WBA member connects you to hundreds of years of shared industry experience! Each month, we'll share a recent question from a member and the answers that were provided!

Q: Hey everyone! I have a question about sprinkles. We are looking for FDA approved sparkly type luster dusts and unique looking sprinkles. Do you know of any leads I should be looking into?

A: We received many great suggestions from our members! Here are their responses:

"Pfeil & Holing has luster dust available... https://www.cakedeco.com/cgi-bin/webc.cgi/st_main.html... ... good prices, fast shipping"

"Fancysprinkles.com has some gorgeous sprinkles and sprinkles mixes- but they are a bit more costly than other options! Is there anything in particular you are looking for sprinkle wise? They also sell edible FDA approved luster and prism dust!"

"This is FDA approved dust. I’ve used it with great results https://www.artfullydesignedcreations.com/.../flash-dust/"

"TheSugarArt.com has great shimmer and edible gold dusts."

"Cook Speciality Company Inc Wholesale carries the FDA Approved Flash Dust from Never Forgotten Designs, along with FDA Petal and lusters. We also just brought in over 65 types of new sprinkles including metallic nonpareils and jimmies."

"Layer Cake Shop - This place is awesome!"

Have a question? Send it to jessica@wibakers.com. We'll ask WBA members to provide answers and share the information in a future issue!


Paczki Party - The Paczki Party Returns to the Polish Center of Wisconsin on February 9th, 2020! You're invited to join us to taste some of the best paczki from our member bakeries as we celebrate our favorite Fat Tuesday treat at our Paczki Party! Tickets include our Paczki Passport which gets you samples from each of the participating paczki vendors! Turn in your passport at the end of the sampling session for your chance to win a dozen paczki by voting for your favorite paczki!

Participating bakeries include: Le Reve Patisserie & Cafe, Cranky Al's, Grebe's Bakery, and Elsie Mae's Canning & Pies. All attendees will also receive mardi gras beads and a swag bag that includes a ticket to Polish Fest! There will be live polka music and special guest appearances by Little Miss Polish Fest!

Tickets are on sale now at https://www.universe.com/paczkiparty

Sign up for WBA's Baking & Cake Decorating Competitions at the 2020 Midwest Foodservice Expo

Registration is open for this year's Baking & Cake Decorating Competitions at the Midwest Foodservice Expo! Students, Beginners, and Advanced Professionals are invited to compete in the Extreme Wedding Cake Challenge, Creative Cake Decorating Competition, Best of the Midwest Pie Contest, Extreme Birthday Cake Challenge, Decorated Cut-Out Cookie Contest, and Wisconsin's Top Cupcake! Advanced Professionals are also invited to compete in Wisconsin’s Ultimate Donut Duel, the Baker's Best Kringle Contest, and NEW IN 2020: Wisconsin's Finest Chocolate Chip Cookie and Le Croissant Challenge! For rules and information, please visit: https://wibakers.com/competitions



Shane Griesbach from Breadsmith of Appleton participated in the Sexual Assault Crisis Center-Fox Cities Shall We Dance competition and won Judges’ Choice Male!

Shane Griesbach with dance partner Pamela Cribbs


Tony & Amanda Nieto from Neat-O's Bake Shoppe recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary!

Sweet New Additions

Joey & Kristen Carioti from Cranky Al's welcomed a new baby girl, Bernadette Jo.

Luke & Rachel Searl from Shully's welcomed a new baby girl, Lucy.

Emilie Hujet from Fox Valley Technical College welcomed a new baby girl, Lucy.

Nathan & Janelle Vande Walle from Uncle Mike's Bake Shoppe welcomed a new baby boy, Lincoln.


Special congrats to our friends at the Upper Midwest Bakery Association (UMBA) celebrating 100 years in 2020!


Created By
Wisconsin Bakers Association


Created with images by Ales Krivec - "Bread on wooden background" • Mink Mingle - "Pain au Chocolat" • Khajonkiet Noobut - "untitled image" • Rod Long - "No matter how you’re feeling, donuts can make you feel just that little extra goodness in life. These donuts were celebrating a 21st birthday … but the reality is, you really don’t need to be celebrating anything particular … just celebrate life! Happy Donut Day (June 1)"