New Location for Hopscotch: Bakery + Market coming soon!

Secures historic location in Champaign near South Side Elementary

Champaign, IL (December 7, 2016) -- Hopscotch—owned and operated by Urbana resident Kaya Tate—announced it has agreed to lease a stand-alone proposed-commercial building at 802 W. John St., Champaign, IL 61820 with Wampler Property Management. This will be the new home to Hopscotch: Bakery + Market, expected to open for business Spring 2017.

The building, which is kitty-corner from South Side Elementary School and the Champaign Unit 4 School District’s Mellon Administration Building, is currently being rehabbed to be more energy efficient and handicap accessible by the owner of the property. Design consultant and artist Kelly Hieronymus is leading Hopscotch’s building re-design and logistics efforts with the help of Champaign’s Sunbuilt Homes.

The building was recently discussed at a public forum neighborhood meeting hosted at the Mellon Building, and a paper proposal was sent to the Champaign City Zoning Department to secure a special use commercial zoning permit. Hopscotch expects to receive official verification from the city in January.

Hopscotch has received multiple awards for cakes, desserts and baking in and around Champaign-Urbana since opening in 2014. Most recently, Hopscotch won the “Best Dessert” award from readers of Buzz Magazine, a entertainment weekly published by The Daily Illini, the student newspaper of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Hopscotch is known for using local, high-quality ingredients and unconventional dessert flavors. The Bakery + Market location will feature similar items to the current Art Mart (Cakes + Confections) location, along with new offerings such as coffee and espresso, breakfast pastries, sundries and locally made gifts. Hopscotch plans to stay at their Art Mart location as well, with no major changes to the offerings there.

“This has been a lifelong dream of mine and I feel I’m more than ready for the challenge,” said Tate, 29. “It couldn’t have been done without the support of the Champaign and Urbana communities, including business owners and entrepreneurs, the owners of Art Mart, and my family, friends and beloved, loyal customers. On top of that, Kelly Hieronymus has become a great friend and been instrumental, showing a great passion for putting Hopscotch in a space where we and the neighborhood can thrive.”

“Originally, I was drawn to Kaya’s desserts and aesthetic but also came to know her as a person and leader - I think the two of us will help take Hopscotch to the next level,” said Hieronymus.

In support of this new brick and mortar endeavor, Hopscotch has opened a fund-raising campaign on, which includes donation levels as affordable as $10. Each price range also includes a corresponding “thank you” gift. See here for more information.

Hopscotch’s social media and digital communications efforts includes an impressive collection of photos and videos of specials, typically daily. Follow Hopscotch on Instagram (@hopscotchcakes), Facebook (/hopscotchcakes) and Twitter (@hopscotchcakes); the Hopscotch website,, is where buyers and others interested in baking can sign up for a Hopscotch newsletter.

New Year, New Opportunity

Short post here, but bear with me, I just lost about 700 words in a poof of a crashed browser. :(


Christmas came early for Hopscotch with the arrival of our new beautiful, shiny, and REFRIGERATED case! Art Mart opening is just one step closer with the arrival of this guy. 

Pardon the low light, low res photo, but here's a sneak peaK :

Full sized cakes on the fly? Check. Mousses? Check. Dessert bars as beautiful as they are delicious? Check. With the arrival of this beauty and the collaboration of Art Mart on our side, there's nothing we can't do! 


Are you one of the lucky recipients of a Hopscotch cocktail kit or pantry kit? I've made a page with a few recipes and ideas you can use your ingredients for- just some hints, tips & tricks! 

Pantry Kit

Cocktail Kit

Have a Happy New Year's and we can't wait to see you in the new space !




Hopscotch + Gift Collections


The holiday season can mean a lot of things. I've always loved almost every part of it. From the terrible Christmas music to the impending freezing doom that will linger for months in this flattest of the Midwest. The Holidays feel like a big 'Thank You' for surviving the last year and all of the things it has brought, whether difficult or celebratory. 

There are also a few things I don't necessarily love, including traffic, icy roads, big box Black Friday sales, and gifts that are meant as space fillers, and obligatory feeling purchases that have no real meaning. 

Luckily, the amount of effort or time you have to exchange for a meaningful gift is becoming less and less, which means more time to spend with the people you love, and truly enjoy this time. I've created a collection of gift boxes that are special items made only for this significant time. 



Hopscotch Gift Collections 2015

Pantry Gift Collection

When a couple starts a new life together, a young person moves into a first apartment, and someone moves to a new town, a little help and love can come in the form of a pantry gift collection. The items in this grouping fill an empty kitchen with a kickstarting of basic ingredients. Each box comes with a different recipe on how to use the items to their best ability. 

Included in the Pantry Gift Collection:

Lavender-Lemon Infused Sugar : Sprinkle on top of cookies, cakes, or make cupcakes even more beautiful 

Vanilla Bean Extract Kit : Make your own vanilla bean extract with this adorable kit, which will make any kitchen cuter! 

Pink Rosemary Sea Salt : sprinkle one top of shortbread, or salted caramels. Go the savory route and sprinkle on roasted chicken, fish, or mashed potatoes. Enhances almost any dish. 

Pumpkin-Pear Rosemary Fruit Butter : Use on toast, dinner rolls, or the filling to an oatmeal cake. 

Wrapped in a beautiful box and perfect for any aspiring chef or baker. Also a perfect item for a hostess! 

Pantry Gift Collection
Add To Cart


Chocolate Gift Collection

A gift of chocolate is the ultimate celebration and, when handmade, it's the most impressive. Husbands send chocolate to their wives; girlfriends send it to boyfriends; and with this gift box, you can share it with everyone. 

Wrapped in a beautiful box, the Chocolate Gift Collection is a perfect gift for someone you love.  


Chocolate truffles : Traditional French truffles inspired by the black truffles found in the forest by foraging truffle pigs. 

Hopscotch style fudge brownies with sea salt and cacao nibs : Chocolate fudge brownies, topped with crunchy cacao nibs for a delectable treat, meant to be shared. or not. 

Chocolate-Berry Granola- one of our best sellers! : A crunchy treat with the perfect amount of tang, salt, and sweetness. 

Chocolate Gift Box Collection
Add To Cart


Cocktail Gift Collection

Ever the most popular gift collection, this grouping offers the following recipes as additions or starters to a homemade cocktail bar. Filled with nonalcoholic libations, this collection of recipes pleases the person looking for something juiced up and also included infused drink syrup that mix well with club soda. 

A tip: This gift should be handled with care and delivered in person because it is glass laden. 

Included :

A 4 oz glass bottle of Ginger-Pear Syrup 

Glass jar of brandy vanilla soaked cherries

Candied Citrus 

Angostura Bitters Cubes

Due to the nature of this box, it comes with recipes for 5 cocktails, perfect for an aspiring cocktail connoisseur or perfect for a host that loves entertaining. 

Cocktail Bar Gift Collection
Add To Cart

Hopscotch Signature Gift Collection

It should be no surprise that groupings of cakes and cookies are one of the most desired food gifts, especially by families at winter holiday gatherings. This collection takes that up a notch with flavorful accompaniments that can be eaten immediately or over a period of time, nurturing that holiday feeling for weeks. 

Included are three of Hopscotch's signature collection :

Two large shortbreads : Signature item made with all butter, all the time. 

Seasonal Baby Cake : Always a favorite! 

Seasonal Marshmallows : Salted Caramel, Peppermint, or Apple Cider 

Hopscotch Signature Collection
Add To Cart

These will be available starting Small Business Saturday at the Holiday Market at Lincoln Square! Come by and say hello!

We will also have our ala carte items to add to your gift box collections if need be. 

Interested in pre-ordering? Great idea! Just click on the 'Add to Cart' block, or email me at !



Holidays are Here!

The holidays have showed up- quickly and unannounced. And I love it. I've never been one to shy away from the abundance of Christmas music too early, or putting up decor before Thanksgiving. This year is especially crazy for me because it is the first time I have owned my own business during the holiday. It can be busy. And lonely, and then so busy you don't know you're alone.  

I read Marie Kondo's book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" while on a flight back from Portland and I am in the mood to clean and clear. There are few things I love more than waking up to a clean and good smelling house, but sometimes that seems nearly impossible. I feel like I see things other people ( my husband) doesn't and it makes me feel crazy. But today is the day. I am starting in on my closet and hoping I get a wild hair to just keep it going throughout other rooms. Wish me luck!

Whenever my house is clean I feel like everything can be in order, and it clears up my head to think of other dessert ideas! 

Next week ( hopefully) I'll be unveiling the Hopscotch Holiday Gift Collections,  and getting them ready to go to lucky and loving homes. 

Here are some teaser photos of the different textures and feelings we're going for with the Hopscotch Holiday 'look'. Think : British Woodlands Haha. I know, I can't help it. 

Although not large, the space I live in is graced only with those things that speak to my heart. My lifestyle brings me joy.
— – The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo

Things I'm loving this week:

Hopscotch desserts are for sale at The Art Theater Co-Op

We bought a few of these candles from 419 Trading Co at MadeFest this year, and we love them.

Amazing sign shop in Nashville 


Have a great weekend! 


Prolonged Fall, Salted Caramel, Maple Coffee

The weather here is still very unseasonably warm at over 60 degrees. Every day when I wake up and take the dogs outside I am hesitant and don't grab my coat, but pleasantly surprised when my gamble pays off.  The leaves on a third of our trees are completely gone, and a few green trees and scattered orange ones right next to each other. 

One of the upgrades of the morning would be the addition of this fall feeling maple syrup to my coffee. Only real maple will do, and this one from the Husdon Valley is one of my favorites. I was introduced to it by the makers of The Hello Sessions. A creatives conference I went to in Portland last month. I met a lot of inspiring, funny, and encouraging people there, and this is just one little reminder of the long week across the country. 

Portland brought back a lot of memories and feelings for me, but one of the most surprising was that I didn't miss living there. For me, Portland was a place of transition and was never fully intending on staying there, and I get the same feeling of everyone there, that for them it is the same. Nearly everyone had recently come to Portland or was planning on leaving in the near future. It reminds me of a modern day gold rush, with people flooding a city believing it will change their lives and they'll be better for it, but not everyone gets what they come for, and the people on the outside still believe it has magical powers. 

That's not to say I don't love it. But I love the midwest more. And I never thought I'd say that.


Salted chewy caramels are truly one of life's simple pleasures. They've stood the test of time, and have come back, in a huge way. Caramel being one of my favorite flavors and a favorite thing to make, I thought i'd share with you just how simple it is, with a little patience, and good instincts you can make perfect caramels every time. 

One of the best things to remember is that when there are very few ingredients, they really count. For this recipe try to find the best sugar, honey, butter and cream and salt. I use cane sugar, Ludlow cream, Plugra butter, raw honey from Old Town Flowers, and flaked sea salt from Jacobsen, I'll do another post on them soon. 

Sea Salt Caramels 

4 c sugar

2 Tablespoons honey

1/2 cup water

1/2 pound butter- room temperature

2 cup cream

1 Tablespoon salt

1 Tablespoon vanilla 

Bring sugar, honey and water into a large and very clean pot. Once you have stirred them together and turned the heat on, do not stir, swish, or put anything at all into the pot until the sugar has caramelized or you may crystallize your sugar mixture.  Turn heat on high and keep a close range for the next 10-15 minutes.

You're watching for a caramel color- too light and your caramels will lack a deep flavor, too dark and it will taste acrid. This is the part where good instincts, and sometimes plain 'ol luck comes in. In time you will know exactly what you're looking for, but for this first time, it is probably a good idea to turn off the heat a little early. If you want to use a candy thermometer, the heat should reach around 317 degrees. 

Once you have reached your desired temperature/color, turn the heat off ( you'll need to move very quickly at this point). Add your butter- be very careful not to splash- and use a wooden spoon so that it cannot melt. Once it has stopped bubbling, slowly add in your cream and stir. Once you have brought it together, add your vanilla and salt. Turn the heat back to medium low- keep your thermometer inside- and stir occasionally until it reaches 248 degrees, no more, no less. 

Once it has reached 248 degrees- turn off heat and pour it into a heat proof pan that you have sprayed some non-stick oil into. Let cool at room temperature and refrigerate overnight. 

Pull out your block of caramel and bring to room temperature before cutting with a knife into small cubes. If it is too hard to cut- just wait longer. Too soft? Throw it back into the fridge for a bit. 



Breakfast at the Tate Estate

Sunday mornings are usually reserved for sleeping in and eating breakfast together. Mornings around here are pretty hectic because, well, we are definitely not morning type people. If coffee makes it into a cup before work, that's considered serious fore thought.  We buy our favorite coffee (sorry intelligentsia, stumptown, etc. lovers) from a small roastery in Memphis called J.Brooks. They ship us a few pounds of coffee per month, but our favorite is Bootleg. We found them in a shop in Memphis called Trolley Stop Market. Check it out if you're ever there. 

Travis usually listens to his basketball podcasts and chuckles to himself, quite loudly at who knows what, while making coffee and messing around with Gus & Stranger. We almost never have a plan for any meal we make, which makes our grocery shopping purchases seem sometimes strange and led only by how hungry we are at that moment, and what could potentially sound good. Or a bruised sale. 


While the markets have ended for us, we did have a constant supply of produce from being at the markets twice per week. Traci or Clay from Sola Gratia would hand over bruised veggies, or simply trade for shortbread. This left us with a lot of peppers, potatoes, greens, and the other abundance of veggies grown about a half a mile from us. Eggs are usually supplied by neighbors from their chickens.  Scrambles are a part of almost every week. It's a quick and easy way to use up produce and eggs and is always delicious. Travis is the king of the scramble. 

Breakfast Scramble : 11.01.15

6 eggs

1 T butter

1 leek 

1 garlic clove

1 hot pepper

2 handfuls of spinach

1/4 c cheese ( we used sharp cheddar)

Cook the leeks in with the butter and garlic until caramelized, add in all eggs and cook slow and low to scramble. After they are 90% finished, add pepper, cheese, & spinach. 


Happy Sunday! Oh! And don't forget daylight savings is today! Plus, how amazing does it feel outside today?

Things I love today :

The Victory Loafer

Not Pumpkin Spice

Paint Studio

Thanksgiving + Pie

Let's just start by saying, I. Love. Pie. I cannot conceive of a world without pie. Well, I can, but it makes me sad. While I love consuming pie, I rarely make it on a large scale, or for a regular Hopscotch item. Thanksgiving is a special time. A special pie time.

For this year's festivities, I've decided to offer a selection of my three favorite pies. Apple rosemary crumb. A buttery flakey crust with a fresh rosemary and apple compote topped with a buttery oatmeal crumb. A smooth pumpkin custard pie with just the right amount of spice, and an extra dash of black pepper and cardamom in a dark graham cracker crust. My new favorite pie- honey buttermilk. A rich honey flavor in a buttermilk custard that is baked in a flaky butter crust and topped with sea salt. 

Each of these will be for sale for $25 each. They come in a vintage pan that you can keep, and hopefully use again. No tin foil, here! I hate how temporary and unloved store bought pies can look and feel, with their plastic crunchy top and their thin foil bottom that you can never really bake an adequate sized custard in. 

If you'd like to order one for local distribution you can email me at