If you have eaten anything sweet in a local restaurant over the past couple of years, there is a good chance that Zara Wilkerson had a hand in it. She announced today after a run lasting the past few years and countless restaurant collaborations, that she is going suspend her baking program for the time being.
“I put a lot of thought into it, and ultimately it has become overwhelming,” Wilkerson tells us. “It was completely my decision and I wanted to spend some time focusing on other areas of my life that have gotten out of balance being so busy.”
It is a sad day for all of us who love food, as well as the huge influence Wilkerson has had on local desserts. Wilkerson gained a reputation doing desserts for Natchez. Shortly before Natchez closed Wilkerson began slowly making desserts for smaller bars and restaurants like 109 & Co, Afterthought, and others.
After Natchez closed, Wilkerson began taking on larger clients like Fold and Raduno, Eventually connecting with Heights Taco and Tamale when they opened and producing one of the top selling desserts in all of Little Rock with their chocolate cake.
From there, Wilkerson continued to bake for other restaurants within the Yellow Rocket Concepts Group (Heights Taco’s parent restaurant group), all while doing so without a full bakery and staff to help her produce. The grind of doing it all eventually became too much, however she does not rule out a return in the future with a full bakery.
“I respect the Yellow Rocket Owners Scott, Russ, John, and Ben and will miss working with all of them. Depending on how things go maybe we will get a chance to all work together again,” Wilkerson says.
The chocolate cake at Heights Taco is not going anywhere, so don’t worry. Owner Scott McGehee says it will remain a menu item with the same recipe.
Wilkerson says she has worked with the restaurants to end the current contracts and will not be producing any more from this point forward. She still has a number of private orders that she will honor, but does not plan to take any new orders at this time.