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A dash of dreams coming true: Local woman's passion for baking takes a new form in retirement

Alicen Schneider started Catron's Vintage Cakery this summer, a certified cottage bakery in Tehachapi specializing in classic recipes that she modifies to provide gluten free and vegan options
Posted at 5:08 PM, Nov 14, 2023
  • Video shows Catron's Vintage Cakery founder Alicen Schneider sharing her journey to becoming a cottage baker, something she's dreamed of for years
  • Schneider used baking as a stress reliever from her job, but now that she's retired, it's taking a new meaning in her life
  • She focuses on vintage, classic recipes she remembers from when she was a kid, but she modifies them to offer vegan and gluten-free options


One local Tehachapi woman is rediscovering lifelong dreams and making them into reality with her new business: a cottage bakery.

"I've been baking my entire life, since I was a little kid. This is kind of my second life of fulfilling that dream," said Alicen Schneider, founder of Catron's Vintage Cakery.

once Alicen Schneider retired, she decided to dedicate her time to something she used as a stress reliever throughout her initial career.

"In my previous career, I ran the music department for NBCUniversal Television. I did that for, gosh…I was there 20 and a half years, and I ran the division for about 15 and a half," Schneider said. "For me, baking has always been my release. I would come home from work, and the last thing you want to do is spend all your time sitting there thinking about work and watching tv shows, so I would bake."

And so, Catron's Vintage Cakery was born.

"What I wanted to do was to just go back to the recipes that my mom embraced or that my grandmother embraced. Things that, at the heart of it, I believe that people would still rather have," said Schneider.

She bakes simple, classic recipes, but the modern twist. She specializes in gluten-free and vegan offerings, something she said was a niche need within the area.

Although the elevation in the mountain community can sometimes mess with her recipes, she said she could not see herself doing this anywhere else, and the Tehachapi community is a special place.

"Here, you know your neighbors. You meet their kids and you run into this person who knows this person, and so, it's such a crazy small town," said Schneider.

While prices listed on her websiteare carefully thought out to ensure her costs are covered, Schneider says she's happy to work with people to provide allergen-friendly treats.

"I wouldn't want somebody to feel like they couldn't ever have something just because of a number that they see on a Facebook page or a website," said Schneider.

In the future, she says she hopes to collaborate with local businesses in Tehachapi to do a pop-up event in town. For a full list of her offerings and pricing, visit

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