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Hidden Gems: Meet Heather Houbre of Short N’ Stout

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Houbre.

Hi Heather, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I’ve had a love of baking for as long as I can remember.

But I never wanted to bake cakes, cupcakes, etc. Instead, my memories of getting cream puffs in Michigan with my family at Hudson’s drove my desire to bring these baked goods to Knoxville. I also come from a Polish and Mexican background, so I always work to incorporate this into my baking (Like churro eclairs or polish almond cookies!).

Although we haven’t started serving beer yet (but we’re working on it!!), I’ve always loved sweets with beer, and the right pairing is magic! This is how the entire concept came together: My memories of cream puffs in Michigan and my love of craft beer.

I enjoy bringing these joys together and sharing some new favorites with the people of Knoxville!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It was difficult starting a business during the pandemic, but it has been worth the struggle!

Right now, both my husband and I work full-time jobs, so running the bakery, and making deliveries require a lot of creative maneuvering, but luckily we work well as a team and have been successful despite the challenges!

In addition, not having a “brick and mortar” store has created issues. The hope is to build the bakery to the point where a storefront becomes reality, but until that time we will continue to offer free delivery to our customers!

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
We are a made-to-order bakery, specializing in a large variety of cream puffs (which can also be customized to suit your next event!), eclairs (including coffee eclairs and churro eclairs), polish baked goods, and other seasonal items. Because everything is made to order and hand-delivered, our items are always fresh and ALWAYS delicious.

We serve items that you just won’t find anywhere else in town, and love being able to alter taste and appearance for whatever our customer’s needs are. For example, we recently served 900 cream puffs at a Mardi Gras event. We took our white chocolate and cinnamon cream puff, created a green and purple swirled cream, and coated the top with edible gold luster. It created the perfect flavor and look for the event.

One of the most important ingredients in my bakery is what I DON’T use. I add almost no sugar and allow the ingredient flavors to come through without overpowering the natural flavors with sugar.

As we move toward adding beer offerings, we look forward to creating special pairings of baked goods and craft beer that we believe will add a new dimension to Short N’ Stout.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
Sharing my new creations with people and seeing their reactions when they try my baked goods makes me incredibly happy.

There is nothing like watching the joy that people experience when they take a really delicious bite of food, and I’m always glad to be the source of that joy!

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