Zila Babbitt was a 30-year-old kind, caring, woman. She’s been a baker for countless years. Not that she only gave her customers a warm treat, but she also leaves them wondering how a young woman could make delicacies so grandmotherly. She always inspected anyone whose eyes caught her attention.
“Hello, Ms. Babbitt! Charlotte is having a birthday party tomorrow. Is it okay if you make pepperoni pizza and some blueberry muffins for the party, please?” asked Mrs. Lily, admiring the cakes in the window freezer. Mrs. Lily was a Wayside Elementary School third grade teacher. She frequently visited Zilla’s bakery.
“Good morning, Mrs. Lily! Of course! Come pick them up at 2:00 pm sharp tomorrow; it would be ready and as fresh!” Ms. Babbitt, the owner of the bakery, Sandy’s Hot Treats exclaimed. Baker was always her middle name. People believe that she was born to be a baker. Zilla’s Hot Treats is known to be the best bakery in America. Whenever you visit New York, this bakery is a must. If you ever visit New York, check out Busch Avenue Park. It has your favorite melt-in-mouth brownies. She is famous for her ice cream cakes, chocolate rolls, and ‘Paradise Heaven’ sugar cookies topped with bright pink icing. The dexter bell that hung on the door rang. That means she had a new visit from a customer.
“Good morning, Ms. Gaughan! It’s been a while! How’s the library going?” Zilla welcomed Lizzy Gaughan, the librarian next door.
“Oh hello, Zilla! The library business has been great. You know what they say, the third job is a charm! May I order a packet of your ‘Paradise Heaven’ cookies, please?” replied Ms. Gaughan.
“Of course! Here you go!” Zilla gave Lizzy a box of cookies.
Ms. Gaughan smiled at Zilla and walked to the nearest available table.
“Oh, hello Rose! How’s your bakery going? I’ve heard rumors that it will shut down because it has no customers. I don’t believe it though.” Zilla Babbitt greeted Rose Bingley. Ms. Bingley visited Zilla’s Hot Treats every day. Sometimes, she treats herself to an ice cream sundae. It is always topped with nuts, whipped cream, bananas, and hot fudge.
“Morning, Zilla! Unfortunately, these rumors are true. I haven’t had a single visitor within these 4 months! I will go out of business very soon. I am trying to stand for myself, but I think I’ll just give up. Nobody can make their bakery as famous as yours.” Rose tried to hide her tears, but Zilla noticed the disappointment in her voice.
Zilla waited for a moment, looking at the door. She flipped the open sign to closed.
“Come here,” Zilla whispered as she directed Rose to the bakery’s main office. That place was full of wondrous smells. For an instance, all these smells reminded Rose of cookie dough, roasted hand-made marshmallow, Paradise Heaven cookies, and scents of croissants, right near the window. Zilla pushed a few buttons on the wall, and the table full of sweets, flipped over to show Zilla’s most secret ingredient. Cases were flooded with chocolate hearts, vanilla hearts, strawberry hearts, blueberry hearts, banana hearts, and the best of them all, random hearts. Random hearts mixed perfectly into anything that it was set on. You can say these hearts are like a love potion to the pastries.
“Two pints of any flavor will make you the best baker.” Zilla rhymed, adoring her hard work on all of these hearts. Rose’s eyes twinkled and turned into stars. Zilla handed Rose a couple of hearts. “During your daily visit of the day, come here and you shall stay. When all of the customers disappear, we will do this again, like leaping deer.” “Thank you so much, Zilla! I might continue the business, thanks to you!” Rose squealed.
She thanked Zilla again and pounced out of the bakery. It was the best treat she was ever granted. “It’s a great feeling,” Zilla thought, flipping over the closed sign. In came Mrs. Danielle, Mrs. McGuire, and Mrs. Florence. They were close friends, and they usually came to Zilla’s bakery to gather together and have a warm treat. “Hello, ladies! I hope you all are doing well! What may I get you this afternoon?” Zilla welcomed.
“Hello, Zilla! We’d all want a half-caff caramel macchiato pronto. We have an important meeting starting in just a few minutes.” Mrs. Florence replied.
“Of course, one second.” Zilla rushed over to the caffeine machine, and it poured all substances needed to make their order in a disposable cup. Next, she topped it with whipped cream and caramel. She rushed and made two more identically-looking. In less than two minutes, Mrs. Florence, Mrs. McGuire, and Mrs. Danielle were sipping on their drinks, and on their way to the meeting.
They were the last visitors for the day. When Zilla passed by Rose’s bakery, she decided to take a look.
“Oh, hi, Zilla!” Ms. Bingley welcomed.
“Hey, Rose! It looks like it worked!” Zilla declared, noticing she already had four customers in line.
“In just a few samples!” Rose grinned cheerfully, handing a sweet-smelling chocolate cake to one of her customers. Once the customers had their orders and had left the bakery, Rose flipped the open sign.
“Oh my! That fragrance smells SO good! It’s berries mixed with bananas, coated with chocolate fudge! What perfume is that?” Zilla asked.
“Karren’s Girls’ Perfume,” she answered proudly.
“Next time I’m going to that perfume store, I’ll finally know what to choose.” Zilla giggled.
“You sure will!” Rose tittered, handing Zilla sugar cookies that tasted almost exactly as ‘Paradise Heaven’ cookies. “Special thanks to you! You must accept this gift or else.”
“Wow, am I eating a piece of heaven or what?” Zilla muttered chewing the soft crunch of the cookies.
“Glad you like it!” Ms. Bingley smiled.
“That was wonderful! I’ve got a whole week ahead of me. Need to go and roll the dough! See you later!” Zilla reached out to the door handle.
“Goodbye!” Rose waved, flipping back the sign.
Zilla got the keys to her car and started the engine. The ride was awkwardly quiet, especially when she came back from a crowded place. Gillus Avenue was next door to Busch Avenue, so Zilla didn’t always have a long ride. Not unless she needed to buy groceries or ingredients.
Once she stepped out of the house, she remembered the flooded kitchen with all of the spilled ingredients and dirty materials she had used the day before. She had used all her flour, powder, and the most secret of them all, ‘hearty love’ candy pods she created, to make a year's supply of her secret ingredients shaped like hearts.
After refreshing a bit, Zilla went to the grocery store. She met Rose there for the third time that day. Rose looked flushed to Zilla. She walked quickly, hoping she would be unnoticed by Zilla. Checking out the ingredients she bought, she arranged them neatly in her car trunk, and off to home she drove.
She rolled the dough and thought of visiting Rose’s bakery more frequently. She shaped cookies with kid cutters, a special birthday present for Charlotte, Mrs. Lily’s daughter. Next, she baked the finest blueberry muffins. She also mixed ingredients for pizza dough and cut the toppings. She would use them in the bakery in the afternoon. Pizzas were not always her favorite thing to make, but she quite enjoyed it this time.
After rolling all kinds of dough, she got ready to huddle in her bed.
When she awakened, she packed all the dough, toppings, and icings she had made the evening before in the car trunk and drove over to the bakery.
Mrs. Dills stopped by ordering, “Morning, dear! May I have an espresso and a piece of chocolate cake, please?”
“Of course!” Zilla smiled at her first customer of the day. She wanted to take a pinch of her secret ingredient, but there stood an empty table holding no cases, or hearts. Panicking, Zilla knocked over a glass plate. Hearing the crash, Mrs. Dills asked, “Are you okay?”
“I am f-fine,” Zilla managed to stutter. She handed Mrs. Dills an espresso and a heartless piece of cake. Mrs. Dills frowned but paid the check.
Zilla rushed to flip the open sign. “Someone must have broken in! Nobody knows about my secret ingredient! All except Rose Bingley.” she thought, opening up the cabinet. Something caught her senses. Her nose smelled the most pleasant fragrance ‘Karren‘s Girls’ Perfume’. Connecting all her ideas together, she paid Rose a visit.
Lucky she was, the bakery was to herself and Rose alone.
Rose looked like a tomato, and sobbed, “I am so sorry I didn’t mean to! I was just stopping by, and noticed the door was open and you were not there! I don’t need all these anymore. I understand if you won’t give me hearts anymore. I totally deserve it!”
“Hey, hey, it’s alright! You are such a sweet baker. And I came here to tell you I want you as a partner for my bakery!” Zilla forgave Rose.
Rose cried happy tears, accepting the employment.