Before opening up Belle’s Bakery on 100 S in Heber, Kayleigh Morton put in her time as a baker and executive pastry chef at several establishments in the surrounding area. She’s worked at the Montage and the Goldener Hirsch in Deer Valley and at Eva’s Bakery in Salt Lake City, to name a few. After a soft opening on Mother’s Day weekend, which she coordinated with her best friend and Five Penny Floral owner Josh Knight, Belle’s opened to the public in June 2017.
Morton expresses that she learned something new from each job, but that her time at Eva’s Bakery was the experience that most informed Belle’s Bakery’s product offerings. “It was at Eva’s that I really started getting into lamination.” And the residents of Heber are grateful that she did. The kouign-amann on the Belle’s Bakery menu is everything a guilty pleasure should be: crispy, buttery layers of pastry sugared just so and baked to perfection. A guilty pleasure for sure — after our interview, I enjoyed four of them.
It’s easy to forget that Morton is only 26 years old. As she describes the process by which her small team made Belle’s a reality, she demonstrates a rationality and maturity uncommon among people her age — and uncommon among creatives. “We did everything ourselves,” she says, explaining how Belle’s is the product of careful spending, cost-benefit analysis and hard work. “I don’t think there’s ever a right time to do it,” she says of going out on her own. “You just have to do it.”
Belle’s is here to stay, that much is clear. Morton has secured some wholesale contracts with coffee shops and restaurants around the valley, and as she describes her plans for the business, it’s easy to imagine her succeeding. Morton possesses the rare combination of creative talent and business acumen — a winning combination for entrepreneurs and a requirement for a successful chef-owner.
In addition to pastry and coffee, Belle’s offers gourmet sandwiches on freshly-baked bread for breakfast and lunch. “I consulted with area chefs to learn how to prepare the meats for our sandwiches,” she says, explaining that the meats are roasted and the bacon is smoked in-house.
All of the ingredients are meticulously sourced and brought to life in this way. Nothing on the menu at Belle’s is pre-made or processed. Even at fine-dining restaurants, it is rare to have a 100 percent scratch pastry program. When I ask Morton about this, she describes the quality of ingredients as her primary motivator for going out on her own. “I always knew I wanted to do this… using pre-made ingredients hurts my heart… and here I can do it the way that I want.”
In baking, “lamination” refers to the process by which a lean dough is layered with butter and folded or turned repeatedly to create several flaky and buttery layers in the finished product.
The kouign-amann (QUEEN ah-MAHN) is a sugared pastry made from laminated dough. The pastry derives its name from the Breton (a Southwestern Brittonic Celtic language spoken in Brittany, France) words for cake “kouign” and butter “amann.”