Park City baker to serve pies and other sweets at Kimball Art Center | ParkRecord.com

Park City baker to serve pies and other sweets at Kimball Art Center

Emily Burney recently opened Auntie Em's Baked Goods inside the Kimball Art Center. Burney says operating a bakery fulfills a dream she's held since third grade.
Tanzi Propst/Park Record

There is no place Emily Burney would rather be than in her kitchen, baking sweets.

Burney turned her passion into a business five years ago when she started baking cookies and selling them at the Park City Farmers Market. She named the company Auntie Em’s Baked Goods and, earlier this month, found a permanent location to bake her goodies.

Burney is currently baking and serving her pies, cookies, scones and bread in the Kimball Art Center. She moved into the space vacated by Ellie’s Café.

Owning a bakery has been Burney’s dream since she was in third grade. She first imagined herself wearing an apron and baking cookies when her third-grade teacher asked her and her classmates what careers their last names aligned with.

“In my mind, it was the perfect next step,” Emily Burney, Auntie Em’s Baked Goods

With the last name of Burney, she immediately thought of burning food, and then thought baking food sounded more appealing.

“It was kind of just like this faraway dream forever,” she said.

She did not pursue her dream immediately, but after college found a job cooking and baking at a bed and breakfast in Breckenridge, Colorado. She worked a handful of other odd jobs before landing in Park City as a ski patroller.

While searching for a job to do in the off months, she decided to start baking again. She served cookies at the farmers market in 2014, and she enjoyed the work when she was not busy on bike patrol.

“I was thrilled to be able to bake and make any amount of money,” she said.

She added pies to her menu the next summer and, in 2016, realized there was enough demand for her to transition to baking full-time.

She made the switch, baking her pies and cookies throughout the night in Park City Bread and Bagel’s kitchen.

In January, she realized that her business had grown so much that it was not sustainable to keep being a one-woman company working through the night to fill orders.

“In my mind, it was the perfect next step.”

Emily Burney, Auntie Em’s Baked Goods

“It became apparent that I needed more space,” she said.

She heard about an opening in the Kimball Art Center and decided it would be a good opportunity to have her own kitchen and set up a permanent location. She was eager to partner with the art center because, she said, baking pies is like a culinary art.

“Each one adds such an artistic element of the crimped crust and the hand-rolled pie dough,” she said.

Plus, she was glad that the space already had a big enough kitchen for her to do her work. While searching for locations in the past, she said the rent was too expensive or she would have to make structural changes. At the art center, she could easily start baking.

“In my mind, it was the perfect next step,” she said. “I never had any doubt about it.”

She signed the lease and opened the bakery on April 8. She has enjoyed seeing regular customers, both those she knows from the farmers market and new guests.

When she opened, she added savory pies and salads to the menu, but her specialty is still her baked sweets.

She said opening a full-time bakery has been like switching from a “sprint to a marathon.” In the past, the farmers market and holidays were her busy times. Now, she is expected to bake and serve every day of the year, but she is excited about the change. She recently hired her first employees to keep up with the constant work pace.

She said she does not know where she will go when the Kimball Art Center moves into Park City’s planned arts and culture district in Bonanza Park, but she plans to continue growing as she moves forward. As long as she can make her favorite strawberry-rhubarb pie, she will be happy.