June 13, 2024

ST. GEORGE — Coordinated by a former pastry chef, a brand-new baking class is available for children’s ages 8-12 to learn the basics and create decadent treats to take home.
Lexi Garcia, the owner of The Little Bakery, said she’s always had a love for baking. As she moved from California to northern Utah then to Idaho, Nebraska and St. George, she found herself baking and growing her skillset everywhere she went.
In eighth grade, Garcia said she took a year off to home-school. With her parents’ support and the additional time on her hands, she focused on baking. During her senior year, she spent half the school day taking technical baking classes through Compass Acadamy in Idaho Falls, where she received her Serve Safe Manager Certification.
With an original plan to attend culinary school after graduation, Garcia said the pandemic forced colleges to offer online courses only, which she didn’t feel were relevant to the trade. When she and her family moved to Nebraska, she decided it was time for hands-on learning instead.
Garcia began by completing a bakery tour around the city and applied to work at her favorite places. When she was hired at her top-choice bakery as a pastry chef, she was ecstatic. The French restaurant featured an adjoining French bakery, and the owner, originally from Paris, also taught culinary arts at the local college. He taught her how to make everything from baguettes to mousse cakes.
“It was just me and him that did everything together, so it’s kind of like I got paid to go to culinary school for a bit,” Garcia said.
When her dad separated from his job in Nebraska, her parents packed up and moved to St. George. Living in Rexburg, Idaho, for a semester of school at the time, she decided on a whim to move with her parents to Southern Utah. 
“It used to be you went to school to make money, but I feel like there are alternative routes like being an entrepreneur and hustling outside of all that,” she said. “There’s a lot less stigma about not going to school.”
Upon arriving in St. George last year in October, the family started their own business, Bubby’s Bubble Wafflesa dessert and drink food truck. Garcia said she has loved working with her family while learning the entrepreneur life and what it really means to own a business.
As she and her mom continued to run the food truck, she baked on the side. While making bread one day, she found herself wanting to teach others what she knew. Wishing she had been taught the basics of baking at a younger age, she decided to start a kids’ baking class of her own.
“I have such a passion for baking, and being able to share that passion makes it so much better,” Garcia said. “And teaching kids just makes it that much more fun.”
The Little Bakery came into existence three months ago, and Garcia said it has been gratifying to watch the students’ growth as they learn from her knowledge and experience.
Garcia teaches children ages 8-12, She said for this age group, there’s generally a limited knowledge of baking, but they are old enough to comprehend what is being taught. So far, kids have learned to make orange rolls, lemon meringue cupcakes, sugar cookies, mini cakes, Crème Brûlée and a variety of bread, including braided loaves.
“I asked one of the kids who’s been coming for a while how to know if the bread was done, and she started talking about gluten strands and showing the tests, and I’m like, ‘You’re 10,’” Garcia said. “I wish I had started with that kind of knowledge as a 10-year-old. It’s so cool to watch their passion and knowledge grow.”
When parents drop off their kids for class, each student is given an apron along with all required utensils and ingredients for each week’s recipe. They learn how to measure and mix, separate egg yolks, read recipes, bake the treats and even take one home with them.
“The reason it’s called The Little Bakery is that I want to turn this into their little bakery,” Garcia said about her students. 
As for future plans, Garcia said this baking class is a starting point. She hopes to offer classes that will also teach the economics behind owning a bakery business. These classes would break down the cost for each product along with how to package, market and sell the items.
“First of all, there’s not a lot of resources out there when you’re starting a business, in my opinion,” Garcia said. “I feel like by starting these kids off young and helping them get into a more entrepreneur mindset, it’s really beneficial.” 
Classes at The Little Bakery are held each week in the back kitchen of Snelgrove Ice Cream in St. George, a space Garcia rents out separately. Each class holds a max number of five students and classes fill up quickly. To learn more about The Little Bakery and sign up for a class, visit them on Instagram.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.
Jessi Bang was born and raised in Utah and has a passion for nature and the great outdoors. She graduated from Kaplan University in California with a degree in criminal justice. She has extensive experience in marketing, content creation, photography and copywriting. You can find her showcasing outdoor adventures through her blog, “The Rambling Raccoon.” In her free time, she enjoys climbing mountains, trail running, working out and cuddling her two lovable pups.
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