Meet the vendor: Yellow Brick Bakery

Meet the vendor: Yellow Brick Bakery
Posted on 06/24/2020
Keri North assembles hand piesLenexa native Keri North knew she wanted to bake ever since a Swedish baker brought Swedish braid bread and spoke to her 7th grade family and consumer sciences class. Keri thought it would be cool to own a bakery one day.

Growing up in a family of seven children, food was important. Keri comes from a long line of really good cooks and bakers, including one grandma who always had a jar full of cookies when Keri visited her.

Keri was lucky enough to be grow up in the Olathe School District, where a culinary program was available in the public high school level. Keri’s home economics teacher told her about the culinary program offered at Olathe North. She applied and was accepted into the program for her junior and senior years of high school. In this program, Keri learned about baking and cooking. She competed in and won many competitions, including the SkillsUSA Culinary Arts contest, where she competed at the national level and took second place in the pastry competition locally. During, her senior year of high school Keri felt sure she wanted to focus on the pastry side of the business. She likes the structure and focus on detail.

After graduation from high school — and with scholarship money won in her culinary competitions — Keri attended Johnson & Wales University in Denver, Colorado. While in culinary school, Keri interned at Child’s Pastry Shop in Denver. Keri loved making cakes and, after graduation, returned to Child’s full time and managed the cake department. Eventually, she decided that she wanted to do more than just cakes. During high school, and many times while home on breaks, Keri worked at Pie Lady Coffeehouse in Lenexa. To this day, pies are still a favorite of Keri’s. She finds them relaxing to make.

Keri returned to the area to marry her husband, Skyler, and followed him to Salt Lake City where he was finishing school. While there, Keri worked at a French bakery first as the sous pastry chef and then as executive pastry chef. She loved learning about French pastries, especially the laminated doughs — croissants and Danish dough where the butter is added to the dough by rolling and folding the dough with butter many times to create light flaky layers.

Desiring something different, Keri applied to the Sundance Resort and worked there as a pastry sous chef. She worked on plated desserts, did fun things catering to celebrities, and loved the perk of skiing in Park City.

After Utah, Keri again followed her husband, but this time to the San Francisco Bay area in California. There, Keri worked for Bi-Rite Creamery, a from-scratch ice cream shop and bakery. She was involved in recipe development, dessert catering, desserts for the company’s specialty markets, both wholesale and retail accounts, and managed a team of bakery staff. 

After starting their own family, Keri and Skyler had an opportunity to move back to the Kansas City area to be closer to relatives again. Once back in Kansas, Keri decided to work for herself. She briefly had a partnership with another local bakery, but this winter she went out on her own and opened There’s No Place Like Home Bakery, LLC, now called Yellow Brick Bakery.

Keri loved the farmers market in Salt Lake City. She knew was not ready for a full-time retail bakery and felt a farmers market was where she belonged. Today, Keri rents a 900-square-foot kitchen space where she makes all her delectable treats. 

Yellow Brick Bakery offers a base menu of cookie fries — assorted fry-shaped cookies in chocolate, chocolate chip and sugar cookie with dipping sauces and sprinkles — salted caramel croissants, cereal bars, lemon curd or savory cheese and bacon hand pies, brown butter pecan or lemon poppy seed muffins, and gluten-free, no-bake cookies. Keri has also added fruit pies to her collection and is currently baking strawberry rhubarb or peach pies. She will continue to change her menu with the seasons. Everything Keri makes is freshly made from scratch with no preservatives, real butter and fresh fruit.

Yellow Brick Bakery can be found at Lenexa Farmers Market on Tuesdays and Saturdays. You can preorder baked goods for pickup at the Market or visit their storefront in Olathe.

Updated Aug. 11, 2022
Published June 24, 2020