By Grace Stiles
It’s tricky to find, but a sweet surprise!
Snugged around a corner at 110 N. First St. in downtown Rockford lies Yolo’s Sweets. A small, family-owned cupcake shop and bakery, Yolo’s Sweets offers a variety of cake pops, cupcakes and even DIY cookie recipes with the dry ingredients already portioned out. Run by local baker and full-time mom Molly Fischer, Yolo’s Sweets is becoming the place to go for gourmet goodies in the heart of downtown.
However, Fischer’s journey hasn’t always been a treat. Between 2010 and 2011, Fischer was diagnosed with cancer. After several treatments and finally a surgery, Fischer was cancer free, but her life was no longer where she wanted it. She turned to baking in her down time, a source of calm she learned as a child from baking with her grandmother. She began to gain a dedicated following of family and friends, and as word of mouth spread, so did the number of orders coming in.
By February 2012, Fischer knew she wanted to make baking her livelihood, and so she began Yolo’s Sweets, named for what her daughter once said to her: “You only live once, so make it sweet.”
Fischer sold her cupcakes at a local farmers’ market until on Aug. 23, 2013, she opened up shop for herself in downtown Rockford.
Being local is very important to Fischer and the future of Yolo’s Sweets. Choosing to locally source and purchase her ingredients is always a priority, as well as doing catering events for weddings, office parties, anniversaries and the Rockford Art Museum.
“The biggest event I participate in is Have Your Cake and Eat It Too every September at the Radison [hotel],” Fischer said. This event is to raise funds for the Rosie’s Birthday Club, a Rockford nonprofit group that helps put on birthday parties for disadvantaged children in the city. Fischer said, “I cannot express enough how close this organization is to my heart.”
Regarding Rockford, Fischer added: “I truly want to be part of the revitalization of downtown … there is such a sense of community. I love Rockford, and it has so much to offer if we can just keep the positivity rolling!”
More so than loyalty to Rockford, what Fischer cares about most is the future of Yolo’s Sweets.
“It is of utmost importance to me that Yolo’s remains a family business,” she said.
Down-to-earth, complex, and lovingly crafted, Fischer’s dedication comes through in her baked treats. A trip to Yolo’s Sweets is charming and worthwhile — and, of course, delicious. Look for new flavors and experiments as 2015 rolls out, or just snag a cake pop and relax in a cozy window-front seat while Fischer bakes away in the back.
“To me, life is about family, friends and experiences, and I want that feeling to come across at Yolo’s Sweets,” she said.
That feeling certainly does.
From the Jan. 14-20, 2015, issue