Carnie Wilson says she's excited to open her new bite-size production bakery/cafe in Sherwood.
On Aug. 26, Love Bites by Carnie will host its grand opening in 14,000 square feet of space at 15028 Century Drive, just south of Walmart, an event that will include a performance by the pop trio Wilson Phillips.
Wilson, who is the daughter of Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson, said both she and business partner Tiffany Miller of Lake Oswego are eager to get started.
While they had initially planned to locate their business in Lake Oswego, the deal fell through for a variety of reasons, something Wilson said was to "our advantage and our blessing."
"The plans are big and we needed a bigger space," said Wilson, who has been friends with Miller for 42 years. "We're very lucky to be in Sherwood. We're very excited to be in Sherwood."
Wilson said she's pleased to be bring employment and energy to the city as well, pointing out that she's fallen in love with Oregon over the years and, more recently, with Sherwood.
"Aesthetically it's gorgeous," she said of the city. "I mean, I live in L.A. but I come out to Sherwood and I'm like 'oh, my god!' I'm trying to convince my husband and my kids, 'let's go, let's move here.'"
While always interested in baking and cooking — often sharing a kitchen with her late grandmother — Wilson said it was when she was pregnant and in a nesting mode that she reached a pivotal time in her life, a time where she thought more about taking care of herself and an urge to settle down with her family. It was then that she revisited her passion for baking.
"I just went straight to cheesecakes and bread puddings," she said.
But it was a voice she heard after her grandmother died that urged her to pursue her pastry and baking dream.
"I literally was stirring a cheesecake batter and I heard her voice tell me of a specific message about my future and my fortune, very strange," said Wilson. "But I didn't look at it as my fortune like money, it was almost like fortune … like being fortunate. I can't explain."
But the message was specific, recalled Wilson, that her future would involve those cheesecake and other baked goods she had been bringing to family and friends over the years, which always received rave reviews.
"I thought, this is it. It has to be a business," she said.
A second epiphany would come while shopping and spying little heart-shaped cake/candy molds and thinking how cute it would be to make baby cheesecakes with them.
And not only will Wilson be producing her famed bite-size cheesecakes at their new facility but pound cakes, brownies, crumb cakes, cookies (and eventually bread puddings) as well.
The duo will launch with anywhere from 24 to 27 different baked items with the majority of the cheesecakes being gluten-free.
In addition to a full-fledged bakery and office space, there will be a flagship cafe open to the public, which will feature not only all the respective desserts but sandwiches and soups as well, Miller pointed out.
"We've got a test kitchen, which is not going to be built out right away," said Miller, noting that it will be a space where Wilson can film whatever she wants, whether it's something for Evine, the Minnesota-based company network similar to the QVC Home Shopping network, or other projects.
A Lake Oswego resident since 2007, Miller is semi-retired from a large family business that her brother now runs in Northern California and she was in the music business prior to that.
Meanwhile, the duo have bigger future plans in mind than simply the Sherwood operation.
"We're going to open 600 stores nationwide," said Miller. "We're going to keep it close to home for now until we nail it and once we nail it, we'll start the growth process."
However, she noted that Sherwood will always remain the corporate headquarters for Love Bites by Carnie. Wilson and Miller appeared on an episode of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" earlier this year where they promoted the new bite-size products.
"We're going to start out of the gate with somewhere between 30 to 40 combo full- and part-time (employees), could even go as high as 50," Miller said.
As part of the Aug. 26 grand opening, pop/soft rock sensation Wilson Phillips will perform. The trio, which includes Wilson, her sister Wendy and Chynna Phillips, had a 1990 No. 1 Billboard hit with "Hold On."
While they were on a 14-year hiatus, the group tours regularly, performing a show or two per month, playing everywhere from casinos to performing arts centers to concerts with symphonies, Wilson said.
She said she wanted her sister and Phillips to be part of the exciting adventure she's embarked upon and wanted to capture the celebratory nature and energy of her new business.
The Love Bites by Carnie grand opening will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with appearance times by Wilson Phillips to be announced. Visit Love Bites by Carnie for up-to-date information.