In the early morning hours while the rain was still falling there was a swarm of activity as vendors, history lovers and volunteers were setting up for the annual Fourth of July celebration at Fort Fetterman.
Despite the dreary weather, which eventually cleared by mid-morning, the 5k walk/run, flag raising and free pancake breakfast went on as usual, with more visitors arriving after the clouds separated and the sun started to shine.
Fort Fetterman Day’s is an annual celebration for a fort that played an important role in this area’s history. This year, visitors had a chance to meet Dr. John Monnett who wrote two history books about the area and the role it played in taming with wild west. Monnett also gave a presentation about the Fort Fetterman fight at Fort Phil Kearney and welcomed everyone at a book signing.
People dressed in period clothes and attended to everyday prairie life while a horse drawn wagon gave families and children a ride around the fort grounds.
Among the vendors at Fort Fetterman Days, one stood out from the others. It could be the welcoming smile or it could be her table full of sweet treats.
Becky Soske has always had a love of baking which started from her grandmother. Always eager to try new things Soske continues to try new things, or develop new flavors.
“I acquired a love of baking from my grandma Grace Hultquist,” Soske said. “She baked everything from scratch. While we grew up in Wyoming we looked forward to two things, her summer visit and her Christmas goodies box. It was truly the most coveted item in our house.”
As the years went by Soske began baking and continued to practice and hone her baking skills.
“In 2007, after moving to Douglas, I began gifting my kid’s teachers baked goods for holidays and school celebrations,” she said. “When I started working for the district (as a kindergarten teacher) I would bake several goodies and share them with my fellow staff.”
When Soske was living in Boston, she noticed that food carts lined the sidewalks downtown in the summer. She came up with the idea a couple years later and with the help of her husband, who built the cart, she was on the streets in downtown Douglas spreading cheer with her sweat treats.
“It’s a bit unusual set up and concept for small towns, but this type of business thrives in cities so I knew it was possible,” she said. “Thankfully this model works because we live in Douglas, the most giving, supporting, generous communities I have lived in.”
With strong support from fellow teachers, co-workers and neighbors, it was easy for Soske to gather support for her venture.
“In 2015, after designing and building the cart, I opened the cart downtown,” she said. “In 2016 I moved to my current location at Falky’s Treasures.”
She named her cart business “Baking It To The Streets” playing off of an old Doobie Brothers tune “Taking It To The Streets.”
Soske also enjoys the creativity outlet that baking provides.
“My mind races with ideas all the time,” she said. “Picture a brain that looks like Pinterest, and that’s my world all the time.”
She has grown a solid following and the list is growing faster each year. She has experimented with different flavors for fudge and cake balls. Soske has invested in a freeze dryer and has enjoyed trying new items.
“The worst you can do with freeze drying is have it not work,” she said. “No biggie to try and fail, as long as I’m trying.”