Best Buns in the Oven

27 Jun

“Life is uncertain.  Eat dessert first.” – Ernestine Ulmer

Teena Acker grabs a pair of plastic tongs, gently secures a mini cupcake and places it in a napkin. She delivers it to eager hands, where fingers quickly peel back the paper lining and the cupcake disappears behind a smile sprinkled with edible glitter.

Teena provides the Portland community with scrumptious baked creations at her “Best Buns in the Oven” stand set up at local farmers markets. Making between nine to 11 dozen cupcakes in her licensed kitchen for each market, she says she normally sells out of cupcakes by the end of the day. In the rare situation when she has cupcakes left over, Teena says she enjoys handing them out to other vendors.

Teena was inspired to cook by watching her grandmother, whose cookbooks Teena has inherited. Teena says she cooked often during high school for her parents, and she now enjoys making a wide variety of cuisines for her husband, Dustin, and their five-year-old son, Mason. However, her mini cupcakes have been one of the more popular results of her kitchen creations.

“I just love to cook in general,” Teena says. “Everything, not just cupcakes! But it seems cupcakes are my niche.”

The Acker family moved to Oregon about three years ago. Previous to the move, Teena had worked as a sales representative for Southern Wine and Spirits in Las Vegas. But after several car wrecks caused by her epilepsy, she lost both her job and her driver’s license.

“It took, and is still taking, time to adjust,” Teena says. “I’m one of those women (who) likes to take (care) of herself and not depend on others.”

Once in Portland, Teena did anything but sit around – she decided to start her own business selling cupcakes at farmers markets. Although currently unable to drive, she hired someone to transport her back and forth from the markets, as well as to assist with setting up and breaking down the tent. Teena also takes special orders for her cupcakes, including birthday parties and weddings.

Two of her most popular cupcake flavors are the Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge and the Red Velvet. But cupcake connoisseurs can enjoy other flavors as well – Lemon Poppy Seed, Cherry Almond Vanilla, and Mocha Fudge, to name a few.

Teena says she frequently creates new flavors of cupcakes  to keep her customers’ interests. Her flavors are often based on what is fresh locally, fusing ingredients like strawberry and rhubarb in her Strawberry-Rhubarb cupcakes. Teena also created a “Hummdinger” cupcake topped with kettle corn provided by another vendor.

She says she is currently experimenting with wine and champagne cupcakes, as well as with a Lavender-Vanilla Bean cupcake –  delicious projects she’ll hopefully be showcasing soon.

Teena is unable to promote her business as much as she would like due to her epilepsy – she says she would have already driven across the state to participate in other vending opportunities. But she continues to dream of what she can accomplish here in Portland.

“My future goal is to get more people familiar with “Best Buns” so we are able to expand,” Teena says. “My kitchen, once again, is starting to get too small for all the orders and requests I’m generating! I’ve already moved out of one house to accommodate ‘Best Buns!'”

Until then, Teena can be found with her family and friends at the farmers markets, faithfully serving the community sweet tooth through her glittery, delectable treats.

“The rewarding part of my job is seeing how happy I make people when they eat my cupcakes or admire them,” Teena says. “That is truly rewarding.”

For more information about Teena and her cupcake creations, visit her business Facebook page at “Best Buns in the Oven.”

You can also stop by and meet her yourself at the farmers markets. The Beaverton Farmers Market is open on Wednesdays (3-6 p.m.) and Saturdays (8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.). The Wilsonville Farmers Market is open on Thursdays (4-8 p.m.)

Until next time,

LoveByrd

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4 Responses to “Best Buns in the Oven”

  1. andi June 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    This is such a good story! I want to go to Portland just to try her cupcakes :-)
    The photography is incredible, Beth! You do a lovely job…

    • thelovebyrd June 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

      Thanks so much! Her cupcakes are absolutely amazing – worth the trip to Portland, I promise!

  2. Sally Sweeney July 9, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

    Terrific article and Teena is an awesome person.

    • thelovebyrd July 10, 2012 at 12:12 am #

      Thanks! And I agree – Teena is amazing!

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