During our December 2023 Jordan Craft & Gift Show Southwest News Media was out and did a story on one of our great vendors. Check it out below!
Jordan teen turns Covid pastime into home business
By Chuck Rupnow
What started out as something to occupy his time during the Covid pandemic has developed into a popular home baking business for Jordan teenager Tommy Schlicht.
“It started when I was 13, during Covid, when I was bored and looking for something to do,” he said, regarding the origin of Tommy’s Sweet Treats. “I always kind of liked to bake things, so I tried a few things and this is what’s come of it.”
Schlicht, 16, a junior at Jordan High School, said relatives and friends liked his cinnamon rolls so much that it led to requests for him to make more, with some patrons even giving them out as gifts.
It was a busy December for Schlicht, as he made 80 dozen for Christmas-time sales and about 115 dozen overall for the month.
He recently had a busy stand at the Jordan Craft & Gift Show at the Sand Creek Golf Club near Jordan.
“I just couldn’t resist the cinnamon rolls,” Emma Richfield, of Chaska, said shortly after purchasing one at that event. “It’s quite a display he has, and to have someone that young doing it, well, that’s impressive.”
Schlicht said his family “likes to cook, but they’re not much on baking. I just started and did a bunch of testing to see what tastes good and it’s worked out. The cinnamon rolls turned out really well.”
When asked about the secret to his popular rolls, Schlicht quickly answered: “When I first started, I kind of made a happy accident. I added too much butter one time when I made them and they tasted better, so I kept that and I think that is the key.”
All of Schlicht’s baking is done at the family home, making it a cottage food production business. He said he and his mother, Kirsten Schlicht, “kind of figured out the licensing part of it to make sure it was being done right.”
His father, Jeff Schlicht, said Tommy “kind of always had a lot of entrepreneur spirit. He had other ventures that didn’t quite get the traction like this one.
“Honestly, I thought it was going to be kind of a cooking for the joy of cooking thing, but he found a way to monetize it, and through the use of social media, it just kind of took off,” he added.
Tommy admits he kind of takes over the kitchen when he bakes, causing some meal-time planning issues.
“We’ve found a way to be creative, like using the grill a lot, and local restaurants are benefactors for takeout,” Jeff Schlicht said with a chuckle. “That’s OK because it’s fun to see his maturation of going through the process of input costs, pricing and creativity in marketing; largely things he came up with on his own.”
Tommy said he routinely comes home from school and make about 12 dozen a day over a 4- to 5-hour period.
“I do kind of take up the entire kitchen space,” he said. “I hear that all the time, but for me, it’s a labor of love and my parents have been pretty good about it.”
His cinnamon rolls sell for $3 each or $10 for a 4-pack. Frozen rolls are $10 per half dozen. He also offers baked cookies and frozen cookie dough at events. At the Jordan craft show, he offered four cookie varieties, including “peanut butter perfection” and another one with chocolate chips, toffee and pretzel.
“I’ll keep doing this and see what happens,” Tommy said. “In college I’m thinking of business and keep doing what I’m doing during breaks. I’d like to continue after that but we’ll see.”