Alumna cultivates a sense of community with her successful bakery
If you visited the Bedford Farmers Market this past summer or fall, you might have come across Michaela Buteau, a graduate of Liberty University. Buteau is the owner of Auntie M’s Bakery, which specializes in not only delicious baked goods, but also gluten-free and dairy-free sweets. From custom cakes to scones and doughnuts, Auntie M’s Bakery offers a diverse range of pastries and sweets.
At Auntie M’s Bakery, specialty pastries like pumpkin oatmeal crème pies and apple fritter muffins are just some of Buteau’s autumn delights. Lemon bars are just one of the many desserts that customers can enjoy in the summertime.
Though Buteau graduated from Liberty last May, her journey to Auntie M’s Bakery did not begin in Lynchburg. Hailing from New Hampshire, Buteau earned her associate degree in baking and pastry arts at White Mountain Community College. Shortly after, she came to Liberty and received her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies.
At Liberty, Buteau took a range of classes in business and entrepreneurship and in family and consumer sciences, which have enabled her to acquire the necessary skills for furthering her bakery.
“I’ve been baking forever and when I was back in New Hampshire, I did some wedding cakes and birthday cakes. This was still under Auntie M’s, but this past year I started doing the Bedford Farmers Market. I’ve been really picking it up and moving towards having my own shop,” Buteau said.
Buteau explained that not only does she want her own shop or café one day, she would also love to open a bed-and-breakfast.
“I just love making people feel welcome and loved, whether if it’s by food or a smile,” Buteau said. “So, a bed-and-breakfast would be really cool around here I think.”
Buteau shared how the inspiration for her business came unexpectedly. Her early exposure to baking, courtesy of her mother and grandmother, was not initially a factor in her college plans when she began her studies in New Hampshire.
However, Buteau ended up pursuing baking after an advisor from her church signed her up for White Mountain’s baking program.
While describing the early stages of her baking career, Buteau laughed after revealing how she bought a knife kit and a chef’s hat.
“I didn’t know what I was doing, but God knew what he was doing,” Buteau said.
As the years went by, Buteau developed a deeper passion for baking and ended up starting her business for fun. Buteau stated that if she didn’t need to make a living, she would bake for free because she enjoys it so much.
Buteau shared that she plans on keeping her business local, especially if she opens up a bed-and-breakfast, which she believes would do well in Virginia. For now, Buteau will continue doing custom orders and selling at the Bedford Farmers Market.
Currently, Buteau’s most popular product is her gluten- and dairy-free doughnuts. She plans on introducing new Christmas-themed desserts at the holiday farmers market, which will be held Dec. 16.
Aside from visiting Auntie M’s Bakery at the Bedford Farmers Market, you can follow @auntiemsbakery on Facebook and Instagram. For additional questions or custom order inquiries, reach out to Auntie M’s Bakery via email at email@example.com or call 603-915-0441.
Nichols is a feature reporter for the Liberty Champion