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After closing their cherished bakery, Janessa is ready to move on for the sake of her family's future, but Jess is finding it impossible to let go.

Jess and Janessa Tomberlin

Former Bakery Owners

Transformation and Story Notes

Crema Bakery & Cafe  has played a large role in the lives of Jess and Janessa Tomberlin. The storefront bakery, opened by Jess over ten years ago, is where Janessa first met Jess when she interviewed for a job. The pair fell in love, and over the next decade they grew the business and their family, getting married and raising a child together, Molly.

The bakery was a well-loved queer space that supported the community in many ways, even giving out meals to those in need during the early days of the pandemic. But by September 2022 Jess and Janessa could no longer keep up with the costs of rent or ingredients, and they closed up shop.

Janessa has grappled with this new reality, and quickly pivoted to real estate and driving Lyft in order to make ends meet to support their family. Jess remains bogged down in the remnants of her failed business, struggling to come to grips with the end of an era.


Jess remains in a fog following the closure of the bakery. She continues to make a bit of money from her craft, baking  at home, to sell treats on the weekends at a farmer's market. However her work takes up a ton of space at home, which is still cluttered from stuff from the bakery they'd be better off parting with, including ovens valued at $10,000. The couple can't even talk about the bakery stuff that Jess is holding onto, the constant elephant in the room.

The couple both suffer from depression and anxiety due to their financial situation, and they feel like their world and home is crushing them. They also fear they're passing their cluttered lifestyle onto their daughter Molly, now 12, who seems to be developing a bit of a pack rat mentality herself.

Stuff/Random Objects
  • 2 large confectionary ovens

  • An 'Open' sign, used every day the bakery was open

  • 100s of cookie cutters

  • Event supplies and decorations, including enough Christmas stuff for a block-sized Christmas village

  • An espresso machine that Janessa dearly loves

  • Tons of sprinkles

Who is getting their stuff?
  • They would like to sell the confectionary ovens, and the Christmas decorations

  • They would like to gift their cherished 'Open' sign to a former employer who went from a dishwasher to a general manager, now a single mom opening her own cafe.

Their Thoughts on Death

Janessa and Jess both lost their mothers. Jess's father is going to pass soon. Losing the bakery was like a death too. 

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