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Reality Bakes


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Whatever Denise Vickers is putting in her brownies, it’s working. The owner of the Walnut Creek Baking Company recently appeared on a CNN makeover show, and followed that by baking some over-the-top birthday cakes for MTV.

CNN’s The Turnaround matches an up-and-coming entrepreneur with a big-business mentor. Vickers teamed with Dreyer’s Ice Cream’s CEO Gary Rogers.

A crew of 16 squeezed into the tiny bakery on Locust Street and filmed for three days during Vickers’s pre-Easter rush. “I got through it without bursting into tears,” she says. “They gave me some good tips about increasing my exposure through marketing, and some obvious things like making our hours more clear on the sign out front. The big thing I learned was to focus on the big picture. I tend to get so caught up in the day-to-day running of the business.”

In return, CNN learned a few things about Vickers’s cream cheese brownies. “I think I gained five pounds in the three days I was in Walnut Creek,” says producer Conway Cliff.

The buzz didn’t stop with CNN. Soon after The Turnaround, Vickers was asked to bake for an MTV series called My Super Sweet 16.
“CNN. MTV. What’s next, ESPN?” Vickers laughs. “And, hello? Why isn’t the Food Network calling?”

The Turnaround airs Saturdays at 8 a.m. on CNN. The episode of My Super Sweet 16 airs on MTV in July.

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