Business & economy

Nampa couple sets their sights on local service with new Vale bakery and boutique

VALE – Greg Kiester is a hobby baker.
At first glance it seems the retired Idaho teacher and school administrator would be more comfortable flipping residential properties – which he and his wife Laurie did many times over the years – rather than behind an oven making bread.
“Greg does most of the baking and he does all the kneading,” said Laurie Kiester.
Kiester and his wife opened Crazy Chick Bakery and Boutique in Vale in December.
On a recent Friday the bakery, at the corner of Main Street and A Street, nearly sold out of products, said Laurie Kiester. On a recent Saturday, said Greg, they did sell out of baked goods.
Those baked goods included cinnamon rolls, cakes, pies, bread, cookies, fudge, rolls and jams.

Laurie Kiester said she makes the cinnamon rolls and Greg does the rest of the baking.
When he does, she said, his “science teacher” background emerges.
“He measures things precisely,” she said.
The Kiesters – who redid the floors and installed two ovens in their new business – didn’t start out to create a bakery.
In May, the Nampa couple bought the building that now houses their bakery. They then renovated the apartments on the second floor.
“We redid two individual apartments and a studio apartment,” said Greg.
They also renovated three bathrooms, said Greg.
Because the building dates to 1907, the renovation took time and a lot of effort.
“It needed a lot of work. It hadn’t been, just from what we saw, it had not been updated in a long time. We bought it as an investment and thought it would be cool to restore an old building,” said Greg.
The job, though, was one Greg relished, said Laurie.
“It was a labor of love for him,” Laurie said.
Greg said he and Laurie were able to save a lot of money on their restoration work by searching Facebook Marketplace or visiting second-hand stores to find items.
“If you look at what we spent on cabinets and cupboards and a double oven, just in the kitchen by looking for good deals, I bet we saved $30,000,” said Greg.
While the renovation of the building was a key goal, now the focus for the Kiesters is the bakery.
“I guess we thought we kind of like cooking. Our grandkids have always commented how good our cookies are. We looked around and didn’t see anything like that in Vale. So, we thought that would be something, that would be a need,” said Greg.
While Greg spearheads the baking, Laurie focuses on the interior decorations of the bakery.
“She has a really good eye for that,” Greg said.
While Greg is retired, Laurie works as a counselor for the Emmett School District in Idaho.
For now, the bakery is only open three days a week but the duo said they plan to extend its hours soon and plan to also add the boutique to the bakery. The bakery is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p. on Saturday.
The bakery also sells donuts from M&W Markets in Nyssa.
The big sale items so far?
“Cookies and cinnamon rolls,” said Laurie.
Greg said he and Laurie were ready to try something different with the bakery.
“We wanted to use the skills we’ve acquired and just have an adventure, something we hadn’t done before,” said Greg.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected].

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