A sweet dream
Online bakers combine to create a new business in Troy. Plus, there's a lot going on in the Temple area this weekend!
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2021
“The flavors are kind of in-your-face. They are bigger and heavier — more of an experience than grocery-store cookies.”
Amber Rodriguez and Laura Sharp are combining the baking skills to create Dough Mama Bakery. Amber creates a variety of cookies, and Laura’s specialty is cakes.
Baking the world a better place
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple exclusive
Something sweet is cooking in Troy.
Two bakers whose online pages have become popular stops for Facebook foodies are teaming up to open a new shop in Troy. The bakery will be located on Church Avenue behind Love’s Travel Stop and McDonalds.
Dough Mama’s Bakery will feature cookies by Amber Rodriquez and cupcakes, cake pops and cakes by Laura Sharp.
“We will have everything you need for a celebration,” Amber said Thursday afternoon.
“I’ve been baking cookies since my first child was born in 2011,” she said. “I started making them for birthdays. I have four kids now, so that’s a lot of birthdays and a lot of cookies.”
Laura has a similar story, although her kid count is at two.
“Sometimes it can be tough to run the business and take care of the kids,” Amber said. “It can be a challenge.”
Although the new bakery isn’t expected to open until early 2022, her cookies already have fans. She sells them at Robinson’s Family Farm in Temple and Gooch Family Farm in Troy, and also takes orders through her online shops on Facebook and Instagram.
While sugar and chocolate chip cookies are big sellers, her personal favorite is pumpkin spice.
“I know it’s kind of controversial, but I like them,” she said with a laugh. “For some reason, there’s a lot of anti-pumpkin spice people out there.”
Amber said her cookies are packed with enhanced flavors.
“The flavors are kind of in-your-face,” she said. “They are bigger and heavier — more of an experience than grocery-store cookies.”
Speaking of pumpkin, both Amber and Laura are gearing up for the holiday baking season.
“The holidays are definitely our busiest time of the year,” Amber said. “It will start mid-September when Robinson Family Farm opens, and it will last until the end of the year.”
The bakers will begin taking orders for Halloween treats around the first of October, and Thanksgiving goodies the first of November. Once Thanksgiving ends, it’s all Santa and company.
Amber said Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter also are big holidays for baked goods.
Once the bakery opens, Amber and Laura plan to ship online orders to their customers. It’s one of several thoughts on the drawing board.
Although opening day for Dough Mama’s Bakery is still months away, other locations are already being considered.
“It’s part of the dream,” Amber said. “Once we get a grip on the first shop, we could expand. I’d love to have bakeries in Waco, Temple, Belton and maybe Austin.”
Alternate Mother Neff State Park route bypasses bridge closure
Our Town Temple
Starting Sept. 7, the highway south of Mother Neff State Park’s main entrance will be closed for a bridge replacement, Park Superintendent Melissa Chadwick said today.
“This will impact folks coming to visit the park from Temple,” she said. “They will have to alter their route.”
The easiest route from Temple is to travel West Adams or Airport Road to Texas 317, then head north toward Moody. In about 11 miles, turn left onto FM 107. In 6.4 miles, turn left onto Texas 236. The park entrance will be about 1.5 miles ahead on the right.
For those traveling on I-35, take Exit 314 and turn left on FM 107. Go 13 miles through Moody, then turn left on Texas 236. The park entrance will be on the right in 1.5 miles.
Chadwick also said this year’s Fall Festival at Mother Neff State Park is a go — at least for now.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen with this health crisis, but as of right now, it’s on,” she said.
The festival is set for Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Admission will be free, but donations will be accepted to provide park improvements and future events, she said.
“There will be a lot going on,” Chadwick said. “The Leon River Dutch Over Gang will be demonstrating their cooking skills and offering samples of desserts. We will have a storybook trail, Buffalo soldiers and a Central Texas master naturalist.”
The event also will feature guided hikes, scavenger hunts and children’s activities and crafts, Chadwick said.
So, why is the park named Mother Neff? Good question.
In 1921, a kindly woman named Isabella Neff died. In her will, she donated six acres of her favorite spot to the State of Texas for a park. Since there was no official state park system, her son Pat took charge. He developed Neff Memorial Park with campgrounds, picnic spots and walking trails.
After the State Parks Board became official in 1923, it began accepting private land into the state system. In 1934, Pat Neff — now governor of Texas — donated the family park, totaling 250 acres, to the state. Mother Neff State Park officially opened in 1937.
For additional information about Mother Neff State Park, Fall Festival or the bridge closing, call (254) 853-2389.
What’s happening, Temple?
September 3, Friday - Central Texas State Fair, Pat Green. Twisted Metal Mayhem Derby. Bell County Expo Center. 5 p.m. to midnight.
September 3, Friday - First Friday Karaoke with DJ Brian Houge. 8 p.m.
September 3, Friday - First Friday Block Party, Fire Base Brewing Company. Axe throwing and music by Dustin Brown & The Now. 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
September 3, Friday - First Friday downtown Temple.
September 3, Friday - Artist 2 Artist Showcase, First Friday, 5 S. Main, Temple. 4-9 p.m.
September 4, Saturday - Game of Thrones Trivia Night at Fire Base Brewing Co., 7 p.m.
September 4, Saturday - Central Texas State Fair, Flatland Calvary, Professional Bull Riding. Bell County Expo Center. 5 p.m. to midnight.
September 4, Saturday - Comedy Showcase with Mysia Chabert, Corky’s, 8 p.m.
September 5, Sunday - Central Texas State Fair, Aaron Watson, Professional Bull Riding. Bell County Expo Center. 5 p.m. to midnight.
September 5, Sunday - Board Game Blast. Board games, mini golf, darts and foosball. All day.
September 7, Tuesday - The Academy HS class of 2022 is hosting a Project Celebration fundraiser at McAlister’s Deli from 5 to 10 PM. Must mention AHS ‘22 in person or use DONATEMCA when ordering online.
September 7, Tuesday - Interested in learning to dance, but not sure how to get started? Be our guest and join us for a sample class, professional performances, social dancing, and hors d’oeuvres. This is a great opportunity to get introduced to Arthur Murray in Temple and finding out more about what we have to offer! Open to the public, RSVP (254) 721-9524
September 7, Tuesday - A Great Frontier Odyssey: Sketching the American West, Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum, A new traveling exhibition documenting the 1873 overland journey of artists Jules Tavernier and Paul Frenzeny, on display from September 5 to November 7. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
September 8, Wednesday - Open Mic Comedy, Corky’s. Sign up at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m.
September 9, Thursday - Martian Folk live band, Corky’s, 7 p.m.
September 10, Friday - Madstone live at O’Briens Irish Pub, 9 p.m.
September 10, Friday - John Henry Johnson live at Fire Base Brewing Company, 6:30 p.m.
September 10, Friday - Josh Abbott Band live at Johnny’s Steaks and Bar-Be-Que, Salado. 6 p.m.
September 10, Friday - Clint Walker Blues Band, Fire Street Pizza, Belton. 6 p.m.
September 10, Friday - First Friday Karaoke with DJ Brian Houge. 8 p.m.
September 11, Saturday - A Sami Show Arts & Crafts Market, Bell County Expo Center. 10 a.m.
September 11, Saturday - Weird Science. Explore different adaptations animals have made through presentations, fun games, and activities. Bell County Museum. 11 a.m.
September 11, Saturday - Name That Tune Bingo: All-American Songs, Fire Base Brewing Company, 7:30 p.m.
September 11, Saturday - Pink Fishing’s Reeling in the Cure, 6th annual bass tournament. Proceeds benefit breast cancer patients and cancer research. Cedar Ridge Park. 6 a.m. Call (254) 681-0102 for details.
September 11, Saturday - 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb & Ceremony. Wildcat Stadium. 7-11 a.m.
September 11, Saturday - Rescue Magazine’s Pet Adoption Extravaganza. There will almost 400 Animals up for adoption and fun for the whole family. Bell County Expo Center. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
September 11, Saturday - Turn 2 Entertainment Comedy Showcase, Corky’s, 8 p.m.
September 12, Sunday - A Sami Show Arts & Crafts Market, Bell County Expo Center. 10 a.m.
September 12, Sunday - Corky’s Dart Tournament, 3 p.m.
September 12, Sunday - Rescue Magazine’s Pet Adoption Extravaganza. There will almost 400 Animals up for adoption and fun for the whole family. Bell County Expo Center. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
September 13, Monday - Third House Session with State Rep. Hugh Shine, Belton Area Chamber of Commerce, 7 a.m.
September 15, Wednesday - Tiny Thinkers, Kids 5 years old and younger are invited to the museum to experience the State Fair! Bell County Museum. 10 a.m.
September 17, Friday - Matt Cearley & The Rowdy Few live at O’Briens Irish Pub, 9 p.m.
September 17, Friday - Wade Ralston live at Fire Base Brewing Company, 6:30 p.m.
September 17, Friday - Neal McCoy, Cotton Country Club, Granger. 9:30 p.m.
September 18, Saturday - The Chancers, O’Briens Irish Pub, 9 p.m.
September 18, Saturday - Night Bright Bike Ride, Pepper Creek Train off North Kegley. Bring a non-perishable food item to donate to local food pantries. Trail parking is available at the Scott & White West Campus next to the hospital's parking lot. Look for green trail signs along FM 2305 and Kegley Road to direct you to the parking area. 6:30-9 p.m.
September 18, Saturday - Harvest Celebration. Bring your family and friends to enjoy grape stomping, food trucks, music, and wine. This is a ticketed event. 3 Texans Winery. 6 p.m.
September 18, Saturday - Detox/Retox Yoga, Fire Base Brewing Company, 11 a.m.
September 18, Saturday - Original Debonaires Reunion Dance, Cotton Country Club, Granger. 8:30 p.m.
September 21, Tuesday - Body of Christ Community Clinic’s Together We Heal Banquet, UMHB, Jimmy Dorrell, keynote speaker. 5:30 p.m.
September 24, Friday - Maxx Carter live at Fire Base Brewing Company, 6:30 p.m.
September 24, Friday - Belton Bacon, Blues & Brews Festival, noon to 9 p.m.
September 24, Friday - Aaron Watson, Cotton Country Club, Granger. 9:30 p.m.
September 25, Saturday - Name That Tune Bingo: Belt it Out Edition. Fire Base Brewing Company, 7:30 p.m.
September 25, Saturday - Belton Bacon, Blues & Brews Festival, noon to 9 p.m.
September 25, Saturday - Fun at the Fair! Join us at the museum to for fun at the fair! View the newest exhibit and take part in fun activities - explore symmetry by decorating a popcorn bucket, build your own mini rollercoaster, race your family in duck races, and visit our petting zoo! Bell County Museum. 11 a.m.
September 25, Saturday - Dale Watson, Texas Music Series, Cultural Activities Center. 7:30 p.m.
September 30, Thursday - TLC’s Celebration of Crazy, Sexy Cool with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Bell County Expo Center. 7:30 p.m.
September 30, Thursday - Funniest Comic in Texas semi-finals. Corky’s.
October 1, Friday - Randy Rogers Band, Johnny Steaks and Bar-Be-Que, Salado. 6 p.m.
October 5, Tuesday - Temple’s National Night Out. Anyone interested in hosting a party in their neighborhood should register by Sept. 13 at templetx.gov/nno. 6:30 p.m.
October 7, Thursday - The Spazmatics, Schoepf’s BBQ, Belton. 6 p.m.
October 8, Friday - Painting with a Twist, 3 Texans Winery. 6:30 p.m.
October 9, Saturday - Shinyribs, Texas Music Series,Cultural Activities Center. 7:30 p.m.
October 9, Saturday - Oktoberfest 2021, Barrow Brewing Company, Salado, noon to 10:30 p.m.
October 11-17 - Hocus Pocus, The Beltonian Theatre, Belton. Noon.
October 16, Saturday - Oktoberfest 2021, Barrow Brewing Company, Salado, noon to 10:30 p.m.
October 16, Saturday - Michael Salgado at Schoepf’s BBQ in Belton, 6 p.m.
October 18-23 - The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Beltonian, Belton. 6-8 p.m.
October 23, Saturday - Don Gregory Memorial Lions Club Golf Tournament. Sammons Golf Course. Contact Jeffrey Thigpen Thigpen.email@example.com to register or for sponsorship opportunities. 4-person scramble begins at 8:30 a.m.
October 23, Saturday - Free Movie Night. Harker Heights Community Park. 5 p.m.
October 23, Saturday - Oktoberfest 2021, Barrow Brewing Company, Salado, noon to 10:30 p.m.
October 29, Friday - Season closing event, Domestics vs Imports, Little River Dragway, 7 p.m.
October 30, Saturday - Barktoberfest, Dog costume contest at 5:30; adoptable dogs on site. Barrow Brewing Co., Salado. 1-7 p.m.
October 30, Saturday - Bulls & BBQ, Live bull riding followed by concert with Jake Worthington and Keith Braxton. Schoepf’s BBQ, Belton, Noon.
November 4, Thursday - Spur Classic Sporting Clay Shoot, Weber Shooting Range. 8 a.m.
November 6, Saturday - Chris Hillman, Texas Music Series,Cultural Activities Center. 7:30 p.m.
November 13, Saturday - Market in the Vines. Take a walk through the vines and shop with over 50 vendors! Free to the public. 3 Texans Winery. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
November 18, Thursday - Taste of the Holidays 2021: A Candy Cane Christmas. Mayborn Convention Center. 10:30 a.m.
December 4, Saturday - Barrow Brewing Christmas Market, Salado. Noon.
Have an event you would like to promote? Email info to OurTownTemple@gmail.com with “What’s Happening” in the subject line. Keep it short and sweet — what, when and where. You may include a short description. You must include a phone number for verification purposes. The phone number will not be published unless requested by submitter.