“We come from a very entrepreneurial background,” said Ashley Landerman, co-owner of 2tarts Bakery and recent winner of the Food Network’s “Christmas Cookie Challenge.” “Both of our parents are workaholics, so I guess it’s in our blood.”
At a young age, Landerman and her sister, April Weilbacher, said they remember learning to take inventory at their grandmother’s plumbing and electrical supply store. Those experiences, they said, taught them about the importance of hard work and dedication.
When Weilbacher, who has a background in fine arts, and her family returned to Texas from Oregon, it was no surprise that she quickly got involved in Landerman’s growing catering business.
“I wanted to make sure that whatever I did to make money allowed me the freedom to still be a mom,” Weilbacher said.
The flexibility of helping to run their catering business gave Weilbacher that freedom.
The sisters then joined the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce entrepreneurship program. There they had access to mentors and began to learn how to operate a business and rent kitchen spaces at more affordable rates.
“Our chamber has always been such a great tool for businesses,” Weilbacher said, “and it gave us the platform we needed early on to get our name out there.”
The sisters soon expanded from catering events to selling baked goods at Christmas markets, festivals and the New Braunfels Farmers Market.
“The farmers market was a turning point for us,” Weilbacher said. “We were able to receive weekly feedback from the community about what they wanted from us and what they liked.”
As the sisters’ business became more integrated into the community, Landerman and Weilbacher began to recognize a need for more businesses to help revitalize downtown New Braunfels.
“When we were growing up, there was not a place to go hang out,” Landerman said. “We always wanted to be a dessert restaurant—open late, and where you go after you eat your dinner.”
The pair soon began planning a brick-and-mortar location, and in July 2010, 2tarts Bakery opened its doors at 139 N. Castell Ave., Ste. 300, New Braunfels.
“I love our community and want to continue to put in the work for our community,” Weilbacher said. “If we were in any other city, it wouldn’t work like this.”
During the past decade 2tarts has become a staple of downtown, and both sisters have been involved in community events, organizations and the chamber of commerce. They each take pride in being female business owners, they said.
“We are workaholics,” said Weilbacher. “We love what we’ve built.”
The sisters share a number of goals for the future of the business, including becoming more mobile, offering baking classes and participating in more baking competitions.
“Coming from a long line of teachers as well as entrepreneurs, that education portion is also in our blood,” Weilbacher said of their desire to offer more local classes. “We have knowledge and things that we can help spread.”
As they look forward to the coming decade, Landerman and Weilbacher say they are not afraid to take risks and are looking forward to seeing the brand grow.
“Art encourages risks,” Landerman said. “You can’t be scared about having bad ideas; you have to have lots of bad ideas to get to the good idea.”
139 N. Castell Ave., Ste. 300, New Braunfels
Hours: Sun.-Thu. 7a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 7 a.m.-midnight