During recent holiday seasons, Skyler Hull commonly tagged along with his wife, Keri North, when she went into work as a pastry chef in the early mornings. Before Hull clocked in at his full-time job in finance, the couple would spend the daybreak hours rolling pie crusts, decorating sugar cookies – whatever North needed help with that day. They were short and sweet moments where husband and wife spent time together working to create something they loved.
That was the case for 10 years. Now, though, Hull and North get to collaborate full time. On Oct. 12, the couple officially debuted Yellow Brick Bakery in Olathe, Kansas, where they sell freshly-made baked goods using locally-sourced ingredients four days a week.
Hull and North have always been passionate about food – they both attended the culinary arts program at Olathe North High School – and they dreamed of leaving their respective careers to open a bakery together. For the past decade, though, baking was a side hustle for the couple, who sold their pastries at farmers' markets in Lenexa and Mission, Kansas, on weekends, but that could only last so long. Hull and North quickly built a large customer base, and they realized they soon wouldn’t have the resources to keep up with demand after selling out week after week.
That’s when they knew it was time to pull the trigger.
“We’ve always just loved working together, so it’s awesome that we get to do that,” Hull says. “We love that our little boy will come to our bakery and help us with little things, and it also means a lot to us that we’re connected with our community.”
Yellow Brick Bakery serves a wide range of baked goods both sweet and savory. One of Hull and North's most popular treats is their take on the famous Cronut – a donut-shaped pastry made with croissant dough – layered with cinnamon sugar and topped with either a pink vanilla or lemon glaze.
The bakery is also known for their pies. It serves a variety of fresh fruit pies (only when the fruit is in season locally), but the biggest draw is the chocolate-bourbon-pecan pie, of which the bakery sold 1,000 just last year. On the savory side, the bakery specializes in hand pies; these pastries are formed into half-circle shapes with butter cream cheese dough that come out flaky every time. Several filling options are offered, but the most popular might be the candied jalapeño, bacon and cheese.
No matter what’s baked, though, the ingredients all come from hyperlocal sources. Hull and North have built strong relationships with local farmers during their time selling at markets, and they’ll continue to promote those farmers’ products in the new space. The bakery’s chicken comes from Hedgewood Farms in Paola, Kansas, and its bacon and bratwurst come from Jet Produce and Meats in Leavenworth, Kansas. The cornmeal is sourced from Meinke Farms in Bonner Springs, Kansas, and Olathe’s MorningView Market Farm provides the candied jalapeños. The bakery’s coffee is even local, coming from Lenexa's Maps Coffee.
“It takes longer to get things locally, and it’s easier and cheaper to go through a food distributor and get a bucket of whatever,” Hull says. “But we hugely value our relationships with the farmers we work with. We know them personally, we go to their farms, we’ve been in their homes. We love working with them, and we love telling people about their farms.”
Yellow Brick Bakery is open Wednesday through Friday from 7am to 5:30pm, Friday from 7am to 6pm and Saturday from 7:30am to 3pm.
Editor's note: This post has been edited to clarify that the Cronut is a trademarked name.
Yellow Brick Bakery, 16581 E. 151st St., Olathe, Kansas, 913.210.9485, facebook.com/pastrychef.kn