Oct 12, 2021 - Food and Drink
Grab a homemade poptart at Des Moines bakery Jess Desserts
Macarons and poptarts
Macarons and homemade Pop-Tarts from Jess Desserts. Photos courtesy of Jess Anderson

Pop-Tarts scream childhood nostalgia, and baker Jess Anderson's twist on these toaster treats has turned into a local success story.

  • But like any good story, these hand pies were born from a situation that didn't start so sweet.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Anderson, 26, was laid off from her test kitchen job at a local magazine publisher.

  • The lifelong baker and Iowa State culinary graduate suddenly had extra time on her hands. So, she floured them up and started experimenting.

Anderson, who was trying to build her own bakery business, posted a picture online of her take on the popular toaster pastry. The result? A flood of people reached out wanting to try one.

  • "It wasn't something that I even expected to really take off. But it did, and people just absolutely love them," Anderson said.

These days, Anderson dedicates herself full-time to her local sweets business Jess Desserts. She sells whimsical treats like pastel macarons, s'mores bars and lots of gluten-free goodies.

Where to find her: Stop by her stand at the Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Market at 4th & Court. Or order online here.

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