For Rebecca Masson, the road to opening her own business involved a lot of work, learning and experimentation.

As the owner of Fluff Bake Bar on West 15th Street in the Heights, Masson serves up cakes, cookies, brownies, tarts and ice cream freshly made in-house using recipes she has crafted over a career that involved culinary school in France and working under renowned chefs in New York City.

Masson launched Fluff in 2011 using the Heights-based Kraftsmen Baking as a commissary. The West 15th Street location opened in March 2020. Masson said she has always worked with a high degree of independence.

“Everyone I worked for had enough confidence in me to let me create my own menus,” she said.

Customer favorites include the Veruca Salt, a cake made with devil’s food cake, salted caramel buttercream, pretzel crunch and chocolate crunchy pearls. Masson said she enjoys coming up with unexpected flavor combinations, including the Couch Potato cookie, made with potato chips, pretzels, cornflakes, marshmallows and chocolate chips.

When Masson moved her shop to the Heights, she said the space next door was a car port.

After brainstorming with her mother, Dodie Wilson, on what that space could be used for, they came up with an idea: Wilson would open Dodie’s Beer + Wine Shoppe, a retail wine venue. Today, the duo run their businesses side by side. They are collaborating on a cake and wine event for Mother’s Day May 13 that entails exclusive in-store offerings.

For Masson, the aspects of baking that drew her in more than 20 years ago still drive her today, including the creativity and the ability to brighten people’s days.

“In the past 12 years of owning Fluff, I’ve been a part of some people’s first birthdays and [then] their 10th birthdays,” she said. “I like that it makes people happy.”

A family affair

Dodie’s Beer + Wine Shoppe is found next to Fluff Bake Bar and is owned by Dodie Wilson, mother of Fluff’s owner Rebecca Masson. Wilson said she likes to learn about wines and pass knowledge to customers.

“I’ve tasted every single bottle on that shelf,” Wilson said. “Every day you learn something new.”

Wilson said she aims to provide an “approachable” look at wine, focusing on wines from small production vineyards.

Fluff Bake Bar & Dodie's Wine Shoppe

1701 W. 15th St., Houston

713-522-1900 (Fluff Bake Bar)

832-985-6186 (Dodie's Wine Shoppe)

Hours: Wed.-Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. noon-6 p.m., closed Mon.-Tue. (Fluff Bake Bar)

Wed.-Fri. 1-7:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m., closed Mon.-Tue. (Dodie's Wine Shoppe)