BILLINGS – Sammy Walter has done two things pretty much all her life – golf and bake. So it made sense that when her collegiate career at MSUB was coming to an end this past spring, she turn to her other passion.
“When I was younger, I just loved being in the kitchen,” said Walter, while actually in her kitchen. “I liked to bake for a while. Me and a friend actually had our own dog treat business we tried out when we were 12.”
Walter has come a long way since the dog days. She’s graduated to human treats, like some of the most beautiful – and according to the reviews, delicious – cakes you’ll find in Billings.
“I have a caramel chocolate chip cookie one,” she said while mixing up batter. “So it’s chocolate cake and then it’s layered with homemade salted caramel, homemade chocolate chip cookie crumbles, and then it’s frosted with a vanilla bean Swiss meringue butter cream, and that one is definitely very popular.”
You can find Walter’s creations under the burgeoning social media handle ‘Sweets by Sam.’ In just six months, she’s racked up almost 700 Instagram followers and nearly as many orders, which got the finance major thinking.
“I was like, ‘Well, I’m spending all this time doing it and I love it, I might as well make a little money while I’m in school,’” she said. “Family and friends are like, ‘Oh you need to charge double that.’ I have a problem upping my prices, that’s for sure. I just love to do it.”
She must, because no one would put up with the schedule otherwise. With 8-10 orders per week, Walter sometimes stays up until 6:00 in the morning baking and decorating.
“I mean, I’ve had my days where I just really want to lay in bed all day for once, but I’m so close,” she smiled. “I have a month left in school and in golf, and I really want to enjoy the last season.”
Walter has just one tournament left in a golf career that’s gone back as far as the dog treat days.
“It’s sad,” she admitted, “It’s been eight years of just jam-packed golf, and I’ve loved it and I’ve hated it, but it’s just an amazing sport. I like that this isn’t the end. It’s something I can play for the rest of my life.”
That is, between baking sessions because Walter hopes to make Sweets by Sam a full-time hobby.
“It’s really exciting, it’s kinda unbelievable,” said Walter. “I was always someone that never knew what I wanted to do, and I was always jumping back and forth, so this is really cool.”
Walter says she’ll apply for her business license next month.
“I’m just really excited to kind of have it be my number-one focus, I can put everything into it. The day after school I’m just going to lay in my bed and not move and it’s going to be great, and then after that, I’m just going to get rolling on this business and it’s going to be…”
Sweet? It already is.