It smells amazing in Katy Ebert’s Irondequoit kitchen. It’s as if you died and woke up in a sugar bowl. And it’s hot, jack. The oven has been on, blazing since the early a.m. hours cranking out sweet treats for her online bakery, Katy’s Kravings.
The sink is filled with mixing bowls and spatulas, there are 50-pound bags of sugar stacked up against the wall. Everything is covered with a light, white dusting of flour like a Currier and Ives print.
Amid the chaos, Eberts wipes a lock of hair from her eyes as she multitasks. It’s a one-woman endeavor—hell, it’s a one octopus’ job—rolling out cookie dough, cutting out cookies, taking out one of her specialty cheesecakes from the oven and so on.
But baking delectables isn’t all she does; Eberts tickles the ivories in the wildly popular Rochester bar band Teagan and the Tweeds. And though the band keeps her busy—not so much during the COVID-19 pandemic—baking is what’s in her blood.
After posting pictures of the cheesecake Eberts made for her own wedding online, the orders started rolling in and Katy’s Kravings was born. It was just two weeks into the pandemic when she decided to go pro.
It’s two sweet gigs: baking and rock ’n’ roll. And Eberts doesn’t—won’t—differentiate or pick faves. She loves them both. Both require hard work. Eberts credits her mother, the late Paula Wright.
“My mother cooked and baked her whole life,” Eberts says. “And I always loved helping her. She really got something out of making people happy with food, and I have that same passion.”
Ebert’s mom opened up her own bakery and restaurant in Canandaigua (Rose Corner Bakery & Restaurant) where she put Eberts to work at 13.
Flash forward: Today, Eberts is at the top of her bakery game. Her business is small, to be sure, but she says it has little competition.
“I think I have something a little different, Eberts says. “If you’re looking for Italian-style baked goods, there’s a good amount of that in this area. That’s not me, though. My style of baking is good old-fashioned ‘comfort food baking.’”
And it’s no mystery what Eberts’ specialty is.
“I would say my specialty is cheesecake,” she says. “I love making cheesecakes. I can get really creative with them and love being challenged to come up with new flavors. I’ve also really enjoyed making cheesecake wedding cakes. They are delicious works of art. I love them because they are simplistic and beautiful all on their own. I can’t make them look like trees or castles, but I can make them taste good. And that’s the point, isn’t it?”
Is it a profitable endeavor? What about music, for that matter?
“I believe it can be,” Eberts says. “Baking is actually a lot like music to me. I play because I love to play. I bake because I love to bake. Then one day, I got lucky and was able to start making money doing both of these things. Music and food are two things we, as humans, can all relate to. I love bringing people together and making them happy by utilizing my skills in those ways.”
Within the first three weeks of opening, Katy’s Kravings’ items more than tripled.
“It’s really exciting,” Eberts says. “I just hope my oven doesn’t explode before I can get my hands on a bigger one.”
And there’s the risk of gaining weight.
“I canot be trusted with a plate of cut-out cookies,” Eberts says. “The early mornings are definitely a chore as I was never really a morning person. I’m still not really, but I get excited about getting up when I know I can have cookies for breakfast.”
But you’ve got to wonder: What’s a more bizarre reality for the 38-year-old Eberts—being a rock ’n’ roller that bakes, or being a baker that plays rock ’n’ roll? She answers without hesitation.
“Being a baker, for sure, Eberts says. “I always knew I would be a musician. That was never a question. Music was just a very natural thing for me to do. I don’t think I realized until much later on that baking was also a very natural thing for me to do, and that surprised me. I always prioritized being the best musician I could.”
She does not envision having to give up one for the other.
“I’ve come to realize that sometimes, these two things will collide and I will have to prioritize, but I don’t think I’ll ever have to forgo one for the other,” Eberts says.
“Maybe it’s a pipe dream,” she adds, “but the thought of owning my own bakery someday like my mother did definitely excites me. I would love to carry on her recipes and traditions.”
The thought crossed her mind over the years, but the hours seemed intimidating.
“Gigging late at night and early mornings baking don’t really go hand in hand,” Eberts says. “What’s happened recently has all come about very organically and I love that.
“But in all honesty, I’m just thrilled people are willing to pay me to sing or bake and I feel very lucky for that. What’s happened recently has all come about very organically and I love that. I’m always going to need music and cookies.”
You can place an order at www.facebook/katyskravings
Still loud and proud
“Call Roc City Home”
The Veins have been a constant on the Rochester scene since the 1990s. They have served as a sort of hard rock thermometer of influence for all bands that have come and gone since. They just released “Call Roc City Home,” a six-song EP of the band’s trademark hard and heavy, done loud and proud.
Though this is an EP, the six songs it sports will be joined by another half dozen later this year. Already in the can, the songs will make a more classic album length.
It was all laid to tape by Zazu Pitts at his Sour Note Studios in Rochester during the pandemic. Pitts’ production and obvious influence on the Veins’ new material totally works. With a band like the Veins, there are certain things fans like and certain things fans require. They want the band fresh and exciting, but they also don’t want the band going off the rails, skating the razor between nouveau and vintage Veins.
You would think Pitts’ production might have absorbed too much of the severe shred of his own band, Bitter Flesh Thing. But it’s the Veins who magnificently attack each tune—especially “God Saves His Own”—with the same veracity as always.
The Veins don’t disappoint, especially singer Dave Gentner, who cops a snide tone that floats above Jet DiProjetto’s guitar with all its dexterous doom. The rest of the band—Rob Kordish, bass; Daniel Pickett, guitar; and Zane DiProjetto, drums—pile on the attitude and threat. This band comes off menacing and huge. It would seem their prime goes on forever.
Last Friday I rolled over to Abilene Bar and Lounge, everybody’s favorite honky tonk, and fell right into a heavy discussion—sans masks—about vintage candy bars.
Though I’ve never been able to say “nougat” with a straight face, we still enjoyed reminiscing over the ones that have left with no forwarding address: Space Food Sticks, Mallo Cups, JuJu Beans, Zagnut Bars. And you may have better luck running across a Fifth Avenue bar or the now-extinct Marathon Bar, which my mom prescribed whenever I had a loose tooth. I once lost three teeth in one day and could whistle while smiling for two weeks. And in that 10-minute ballyhoo amongst men, I knew we’re back baby.
While all these degenerate Algonquin roundtable deliberations were going on, Jukebox Riot spun a varied riot on the back patio, plucked from a cavernous well of 7 inch inspired, in the pocket thrash and twang.
Frontman Kim Draheim rode the music, felt the music, and struck an ominous pose like a double-jointed rattlesnake. The band sent me over the edge with their Detroit Muscle car take on the MC5’s “Ramblin Rose.” The rest of the band—Ignatius “Iggy” Marino, keyboards, sax, vocals; Roy Stein, drums; and Nick Lenhard, bass—was dyn-o-mite. But it was Draheim’s slinky power that sent me as he throttled his guitar like a drunken dance partner. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. And Bob’s your uncle. F-out.
Here’s a comprehensive list of live shows in and around Rochester: Get Your Gig On
Frank De Blase is Rochester Beacon’s music writer.