By Kelsey Keener
CEDAR CITY–Julia Stolworthy has been providing the community with freshly baked sweets since she opened her bakery, Sweet and Knotty, at the beginning of June.
Stolworthy and her family moved to Cedar City four years ago from Phoenix, Ariz., where they lived for 15 years. She said they had the opportunity to move wherever they wanted and chose Cedar City for the clean air and to get out of the heat.
After being a hairdresser for 15 years, Stolworthy took an office job when she moved and baked treats for her coworkers. Eventually, she began to make a profit from baking and even started making cookies for Soda Run.
Stolworthy decided to start baking with a partner. After a couple of years Stolworthy wanted to expand the business and began looking for a space other than her home, and her partner chose to stay at a smaller scale. She said baking is not the job she thought she would have.
“I did not envision that this would be my life, not even five years ago,” she said. “I’ve always been able to bake, I’ve always preferred baking over cooking but I never thought that this would be my profession.”
Although it took her by surprise, she said being a baker fits her personality well.
“I don’t do well sitting still and I like people,” she said. “So being a hairdresser was great and this is kind of that same feel: you’re constantly moving, talking to people all day long. I just like it.”
After opening in June, Stolworthy said she felt the first phases resembled parenting.
“I have likened it to being a mother of babies,” she said. “You don’t sleep much, and you have to constantly be taking care of something so it’s a little bit like parenting.”
Sweet and Knotty features four staple flavors of knots (cinnamon, raspberry, orange and lemon), as well seasonal flavors such as gingerbread. Stolworthy also offers sugar cookies, muffins, cakes for many occasions and catering for events.
Stolworthy is a fourth-generation baker, and although she feels like she is carrying on a tradition started by her great-grandparents in New York she does not expect her children to take over her business unless they choose to.
“If my kids want to take over day – great,” she said. “But I will not be disappointed if they want to follow their own passion, their own truth. I in no way want to force them into a career or lifestyle that doesn’t make them happy.”
Besides sweets, Stolworthy wants to share the joy, kindness and compassion that have become important to her with the community.
“When you walk into a space, it’s not just what you see it’s what you feel,” she said. “I want (Sweet and Knotty) to be a feeling of goodness. Besides just sweets and baked good, I think it’s important we all learn from each other.”
Stolworthy also prioritizes her employees’ quality of life.
“I would love to be open 24 hours for people, but more important than anything else to me is quality of life, not just for myself but for my employees,” she said. “I really just want to make sure that my people are living life and not just living to work.”
In order to provide freshly baked good and sweets, one baker starts working at 3 a.m. to be prepared to open Sweet and Knotty at 8 a.m. Another baker starts early in the afternoon and works until 8 p.m.
Sweet and Knotty is open Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The bakery is located at 755 S. Main Street in Cedar City.