Not many people find themselves in a new career path by chance, but for Jennings Wright, it is the story behind her business, The Accidental Bakery.
According to the Carteret County News-Times in North Carolina, Accidental Bakery is located in Beaufort, NC, but started in southern Nicaragua, where Wright was living with her husband earlier this year after purchasing a hotel in San Juan Del Sur and baking for the customers.
While in Nicaragua, she began making muffins, cinnamon rolls and other baked goods for the hotel’s customers and nearby visitors and residents. When an area coffee shop approached her and asked if she would bake for them as well, she realized she had stumbled upon a new path.
“I said to my husband, ‘Apparently accidentally I have a bakery,’ and that’s how the name came around,” she told the News-Times.
The couple still owns the hotel and travels back and forth between Nicaragua and North Carolina, but primarily resides in Beaufort.
Wright was doing all the cooking for the hotel after the purchase and decided the continental breakfast that was promised should offer more than just toast as was previously provided.
“I started the very first morning we owned the hotel, thinking, ‘I’ll just do muffins,’ ” she said. The variety quickly grew to include cinnamon rolls and other items.
As Wright began to bake more, she relied on her husband to help her decide when a recipe was right. She has been eating gluten-free for the past three years, and therefore is unable to eat most of her own items that she bakes. Today, she does make some gluten-free items, usually by special order.
When she returned to the United States, Wright decided to see if her baked goods would sell in Carteret County like they did in Nicaragua.
“I said I love baking all the time, maybe I should try to do it (here) and see if anybody likes it,” she recalled. “Maybe it’s just a Nicaragua thing.” But once she started baking along the Crystal Coast, her business took off.
For now, pop-up shops are her main way of serving customers, who follow her social media accounts to see what she is baking and where she will be selling her baked goods next. Wright is hoping to have her own trailer by her birthday in April, to use as a mobile bakery. She said while she will not be doing the baking in the trailer, like a food truck, it will be a portable bakery for her to showcase her homemade baked goods and granola.
Once she is equipped with this, she hopes to venture out two or three days a week to various sites to sell her treats. “My husband says I’m obsessed with trailers,” she joked about her search for the ideal mobile bakery.
At one of her pop-up shops, she advertised the menu on Facebook for her cinnamon rolls, cupcakes and other sweets, and a line of people were waiting at the door when the shop opened for the day.
“I sold out in 2½ hours,” she said. “I had no idea how much to make.” She sold nearly 12 dozen items in a short amount of time.
The Accidental Bakery is on Facebook, Instagram and at www.accidentalbakery.com.