Growing up in Kliding, a small town in Germany, Petra Vigil, owner of Petra’s Backstubchen, learned how to bake from her mother and her aunts. “I always baked. My Mom was always baking and cooking big meals. It was normal to me,” says Petra, “I think if my Mom hadn’t taught be so much I wouldn’t be here.”
When Petra moved to Utah over 25 years ago, she brought her baking books with her. She had been baking her strudels, cakes, and cookies for friends and family, but her dream was to open her own bakery. Over five years ago, not wanting to put her dreams on hold any longer, she rented a commercial kitchen to get started.
Petra and her husband Joseph Vigil drove around checking out the different farmers markets to decide which market was best for her. They chose the Wasatch Front Farmers Market at Wheeler Farm. “We had no clue; it was a shot in the dark,” says Joseph, when they opened their first booth. Petra now has her own commercial kitchen in the basement of her home.
“We’ve taken baby steps because we don’t want to lose everything we’ve invested,” says Petra, “There’s a lot of people out there (other vendors) that have really helped us along. They’ve taught us the ropes.”
Strudels and stollen are what most people think of when they think of German pastries, but Petra offers much more. The Bee Sting, known as Bienenstich in German, is one of her more popular cakes at the markets. It is sweet yeast dough with a vanilla custard filling, topped off with caramelized almonds. She also bakes butter cookies, honey cookies, rhubarb cake, raspberry or mandarin orange flavored cheesecakes, and German-style pretzels. “Everything is really authentic, old-fashioned. I stick to my recipes from the old books,” says Petra.
Petra buys fresh plums, peaches, apples and rhubarb for her pastries from local farmers and she sources her tart cherries from Payson Fruit Growers. Some of the other local products she uses are Weed Family Honey for her cookies, and Aunt Madine’s “Famous” Mustard for her pretzels.
“I’ve had people tear up and say this is like home,” says Petra, “They tell me my pastries taste like the originals.”
Cache Valley Gardeners’ Market, Christkindlmarkt, and Wasatch Front Farmers Market, are some of the places you can find Petra’s baked goods. She also does catering and special orders.
Facebook: Petrasbackstubchen and Instagram: Petras_backstubchen