Telashay Farr started baking with her grandmother in Michigan so many years ago that she can’t even remember when exactly it all began.
"I was so young, probably 10 or 11," says Farr.
The goods are also for sale at the Melthouse Bistro, 1857 E. Kenilworth Pl.
During a recent visit to the market we started chatting with Farr, who was wearing a really cute cupcake apron given to her by a customer, and she told us about her business.
Farr, who has operated Avia for three years, also caters weddings, events and parties. She sells at various summer festivals, too. We first met her last year at Juneteenth Day.
Farr is licensed through Amaranth Bakery & Cafe, 3329 W. Lisbon Ave., which is where she also does all of her baking.
Amaranth opened in 2006 and is run by David Boucher and his wife, Stephanie Shipley. It offers artisan-style baked goods, mostly organic breads and a small menu featuring daily-changing soups, salads, quiches, pastries, tarts and cookies.
Avia offers 17 different cakes, a variety of icings and cookies.
Farr’s most popular cakes are the red velvet and the caramel cake, but she has some unusual offerings like a 7-Up pound cake and a Mountain Dew cake – both actually made with soda pop.
The pineapple upside down, German chocolate, banana pudding, peach cobbler, carrot cake, Oreo marble and cheese cake cookie cake are also available, among others. At the market, a generous slice of cake ranges from $2.50 to $3.50.
Farr’s personal favorite, she says, is a toss-up between the red velvet and caramel.
We tried a slice of the red velvet. It was incredibly moist, a pleasing red color (not too red) and had the perfect layer of cream cheese icing – not too thick and not too thin.
The kids were not thrilled with splitting it five ways so next time we’ll have to buy at least two slices to split.
Farr operates the business all year ‘round, but mostly during the summer months when she is not working as a math teacher at Vincent High School.
"Baking is my relaxation from teaching," says Farr.
Farr has taught at Vincent for four years. She has an undergrad degree from Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi and a masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Farr’s grandmother passed away in 2002, so when Farr started the business, she thought about naming it "Grandmother’s Cakes." However, she decided she wanted something more interesting, so she went on the Internet and researched how to say "grandmother" in other languages.
When she discovered that "avia" is Latin for "grandmother," she liked the sound of it and chose it for her business name.
"The business is, most importantly, a way for me to share my grandmother’s recipes," she says.
Aside from farmers selling vegetables and flowers The Fondy Farmer’s Market features a variety of vendors, like Farr, who sell prepared foods, crafts and jewelry.
The Fondy Market is one of the city’s largest farmers markets, and is open June 22- Nov. 2 on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is open on Saturdays only in November.
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.