Aurora -- Shannon Keibler found her niche selling bakery items through her business, Floured Apron, which operates out of a vintage trailer.
Keibler, who moved to Aurora two years ago, took an early retirement package from her corporate job where she had worked for 23 years -- her entire adult life.
She received advice about the future from a close friend -- "Love what you do."
"I've always loved to bake and I wanted to share more of what I love with others," she explained. "I began baking and modifying recipes and started sharing those with friends and family to get input.
"It didn't take long for me to realize I'd found what I wanted to do next."
Keibler brought her baked goods to most of Aurora's farmers' markets, which took place Wednesdays from June to August at the Church in Aurora.
At a recent farmers' market, a customer bought a blueberry cake with cinnamon whipped cream, plus a Carrie's Campfire S'mores Cupcake, named after her younger daughter, Carrie, 9.
Another of her popular items is Birdie's Buckeye Cupcake, named after her older daughter, Hannah, 20. That cupcake is a dark chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting topped with a homemade buckeye candy.
The business is a tribute to her late grandmother -- Hattie Bell Brooks -- who made Keibler's first apron and "truly inspired my love of food. She taught all of us that food brings family together. There was never a shortage of it in her home."
Fittingly, Keibler's motto is "Homemade baked goods, straight from the heart."
"I love the baking process, but I mostly love to sit down and eat a baked good with others and share my creations with people," she said.
"I ALSO ENJOY coming up with new creations. For example, this summer, I created a Peach Pie Cupcake that has been a big hit. It's unique. I love to surprise people with something new."
Keibler said all of her ingredients are local, and she donates all unsold products to the Aurora Food Pantry. To learn more about her business, visit www.flouredapron.com.
Keibler said she and her family moved from Cincinnati to Aurora "based on the wonderful schools.
"When we moved, I realized getting my business off the ground would be tough just doing the home-based bakery model I used in Cincinnati," she said.
"I didn't know anyone here, and word of mouth / networking is a critical business factor. I spent some time assessing Aurora and decided I did not want a storefront type model.
"I decided I wanted a food truck / mobile model, but wanted something different that really fit Floured Apron's brand equity," she said. "That's how the vintage trailer idea came into the picture.
"I fell in love with the idea of launching something cute, unique and retro. I wanted something that could become part of the community."
Keibler named the trailer Rosie, a tribute to Rosie Red, one of the Cincinnati Reds' mascots.
"It's a small tribute to our Cincinnati roots," she said. "In addition, roses are included in our logo for sentimental reasons. Rosie seemed like the perfect name and it's kind of retro sounding, so it stuck."
Keibler said Rosie has become an icon in Aurora.
"I have people tell me all the time that they saw Rosie at places like soccer games and the farmers' market," she said. "I want our business to be approachable and, most importantly, fun. Our mission is to 'bake people of all ages happy.'"
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187
Twitter: Mike Lesko@MikeLesko_RPC