From the National Guard to owning her own bakery, learn about a local lady who’s a Jack of all trades, creating a legacy through her tasty treats.
When Taren Plesinger-Kinebrew entered the National Guard and studied IT in college, she didn’t expect a bakery to be on her career path.
Today, she’s the owner and CEO of Sweet Petit Desserts, based in OTR. As a third generation baker who enjoyed baking with her grandmother as a child, it was a natural fit for her to make this passion a profession. But she followed her passion for the Armed Forces first.
She joined the National Guard during her senior year of high school and spent seven years there. She hoped to travel the world, but Desert Storm complicated this. While in the military she went to college, majoring in information systems and minored in accounting.
After getting her degree she started working for IBM, but she wasn’t satisfied. “After being in the corporate world I felt there was more for me and figured I would try my hand at being my own boss,” Plesinger-Kinebrew says. “It took a few businesses for me to figure out that baking is truly my passion.” With her childhood memories of baking in mind, Sweet Petit Desserts was born in August of 2009.
As the name suggests, Sweet Petit Desserts specializes in miniature desserts made from what Plesinger-Kinebrew calls “the finest ingredients.” In fact, that’s all it serves. Plesinger-Kinebrew and her staff focus on simple flavors and unique artistry so they can deliver big flavor in a small package. The menu includes everything from cookies, pies, cake pops, brownies, macarons, chocolate-covered strawberries, tartlets, dessert cups, chocolate covered pretzels, and their newest editions of Petit cakes.
A portion of the proceeds from their LOVE Bites goes toward the Sister Accord Foundation, which focuses on educating girls and women and eradicating violence and bullying. In addition to the shop, Sweet Petit Desserts does a lot of event catering, designing and setting up dessert tables. They can even create a menu of treats specific to an event.
Sweet Petit Desserts has five staff members, most of whom are related to Plesinger-Kinebrew, she laughs. It’s only fitting, though, as Plesinger-Kinebrew was inspired by family memories. Plesinger-Kinebrew loves baking for others and the spirit of friendliness it creates. “I really enjoy connecting with my customers,” she says. “It really is the best part of work outside of baking.”
As her varied résumé shows, Plesinger-Kinebrew is sort of a Jack of all trades who found her dream trade. For those who wish to follow suit and start their own business, Plesinger-Kinebrew offers one simple piece of advice: “It’s important to do the research in your field of expertise. Know your market and really plan.”