Michigan bakery's rescheduled TV segment set to air this month

By Jennifer Timar
Livingston Daily

BRIGHTON (AP) — Husband and wife Brighton bakery owners Keri and Greg Hayes were handed a big disappointment in March when the Home Shopping Network canceled taping shows due to the coronavirus.

“We got bumped,” Keri Hayes, who co-owns Whey Better Bakery and a fitness studio with her husband, told the Livingston Daily.

A 10-minute spot featuring their dark cocoa peanut butter cups originally was supposed to air March 16 on the television network.

However, a few days prior to their air date, a network representative informed her production at the network’s St. Petersburg, Florida studio was shutting down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“They cleaned out the kitchen (at the HSN studio) and wanted people to work remotely,” Hayes said. “The Friday before our airing, I got an email saying we’d been put on hold.”

A segment on Whey Better Bakery is now scheduled to air at 5 p.m. April 20.

She said HSN’s purchase agreement is for 19,000 peanut butter cups to sell live on television and through its website.

They bake healthier versions of popular junk foods and use whey protein powder and high-protein oatmeal in lieu of flour. They limit how much sugar they put in their doughnuts, peanut butter bars and cups, cookies, muffins and other baked goods.

They made 400 boxes of peanut butter cups in preparation for the show out of a shared commercial kitchen in Plymouth, Proud Mitten Shared Kitchen. Those boxes went into storage.

“We were happy that the day before they canceled, they launched us on their website. When I found out that it wasn’t completely canceled, I was so excited,” she said. “I had over 300 people share our post about it and support us. ... It led to orders.”

Orders for 24 peanut butter cups are sold through the network. The bakery is also selling subscriptions for monthly deliveries of peanut butter cups.

She said they have sold 36 orders through the hsn.com and 22 orders through the bakery’s website, wheybetterbakery.com, as of early April.

While HSN has stopped guests and vendors from coming on the studio property to promote social distancing, they have restarted production of new shows.

She said HSN will film Whey Better Bakery’s segment using remote methods.

She does not know the final plan for how the segment will be filmed, but she ventured a guess.

“The host Marlo (Smith), will probably be in the kitchen, basically alone with any camera crew,” she said.

Hayes is not sure if she will be on a telephone line or on Skype, or if HNS host Keri Maletto will present the peanut butter cups, which was the original plan.

While they had to temporarily close their fitness training and nutrition studio, Studio 111, for customers, the Hayes family is riding out the ‘stay at home’ order at their Brighton home.

Hayes said she is focused on keeping their kids busy and engaged while they wait for school districts to work out a plan for the rest of the year.

Their baked goods are also sold at a few Michigan stores. They are in Culture Beer and Cheese and Good Sense Coffee in Brighton, Treat Dreams in Ferndale, and Sweet Dreams in Plymouth.

They also purchased a food trailer they will launch at a future date.

Applying to be on the Home Shopping Network was not the couple’s first attempt to market their products on television.

“We had applied for Shark Tank. We submitted a video, but a producer said we’re too new and you don’t have all that many sales,” Hayes said, “but she encouraged us to try again.”

Published: Thu, Apr 16, 2020