Carly Carver, Editor
The Ashland Beacon
Tiffany Diehl, of Menifee County, wears a lot of hats and has a few titles, but one of those titles turned into an extremely sweet hobby.
“I’m a mom, an employee, a wife, and a baker,” said Diehl. “You have got to feel balanced for your own mental health. This is a hobby for me, and it makes me feel balanced. It’s something I do for me too.”
Diehl is the owner and founder of The Zen Baker, a new business that launched in May of 2020.
Diehl said she is excited to join the incredible community of local bakers that the community has to offer.
Diehl’s baking journey began when her journey to motherhood began, she said.
“I started baking around fifteen years ago when I became a mom,” said Diehl. “My kiddos always liked to throw challenges my way, and it was one of those things where trying to book and coordinate things with a fancy bakery for school or a birthday could be too hectic so I just said I would bake.”
Diehl said her first bit of baking creations began with cake pops for her youngest child, who fell in love with the creations after visiting Disney World.
“I think the first cake pops I made were for his fourth birthday, little cake pops to go onto his cupcakes,” said Diehl.
Diehl said that her adventure into baking was something new to her, but something she went into without hesitation.
“I think I’ve always been one of those types of people who gives something a try and keeps an open mind about their potential,” said Diehl. “I just said I’ll try to bake. And with the world of the internet we have everything at our fingertips. And with books. Self-teaching is everywhere.”
Diehl said that there were also some failures in the beginning as well.
“When you start mixing sugars and butters and learning how they cook and how they cook in your oven, I definitely failed at some cookies there in the beginning,” said Diehl with a laugh.
Diehl said that over the years she has learned to perfect her confections.
“I really like to see how I can dress it up and make it taste better and look better,” said Diehl. “I like trying flavor combinations and experimenting.”
Diehl said it was this past year she started to realize perhaps her hobby could be realized into more of a business dream. Diehl said that her youngest child moved out of elementary school, and after baking for her boys for years she realized with elementary school being behind her she would no longer have as many “class baking” opportunities.
“I thought, I wouldn’t have any more class parties to bake for, what am I going to do with all my baking,” said Diehl. “I thought, I didn’t want to compete with the local bakers, I wanted to join their community. I feel like there is a need there. Those extra services out there.”
Diehl decided to put herself out there, and set out to get her home-based processor’s license, under Kentucky’s Cottage Laws, and was certified under Kentucky Proud, something that was important to Diehl, as shopping local is something she tries to do as often as possible.
“I try to shop local, I hit the farmers markets with my family,” said Diehl.
Diehl said that she is now open for business, and is taking orders for cakes, cake pops, cookies, and cupcakes.
Diehl said that she is not a fondant artist, but she works out some truly magnificent artist designs and subtle touches with her buttercream and other flavors.
“I really love doing baby showers,” said Diehl. “Doing baby showers and first birthdays and being a part of that is a huge deal. I love being a part of that.”
Diehl said she also loves peculiar orders, her last memorable one being an order for a “toilet themed cake.”
“My youngest, Colton, he’s been really excited and helps me push my limits and shows me new things to try,” said Diehl. “My oldest will come in and ask if I’m baking and say, ‘That looks good’ or ‘I don’t know about that one’. I think they both love to see me doing something I enjoy.”
Diehl works full time locally as an Applied Behavioral Analyst and understands how important mental health is. She said that it is this understanding that pushes her to make time for her baking, because it is something important to her and something that helps her decompress. That example is something she hopes to set for her children.
“As a behavioral analyst it is something, I’ve always pushed on my children, finding something that is meaningful to them, and they see me doing that,” said Diehl. “Hopefully, I can set that example. This is me stepping outside my comfort zone a little bit and growing and evolving.”
Diehl said that the decision to name her business “The Zen Baker” was a very mindful decision.
“I stress bake,” said Diehl. “I work in a stressful career. It is like I can take the stress from my career and the stress from day to day and bake and not have a stress in the world. Baking is my Zen. This is my mindful practice.”