A Jacksonville bakery will be featured on television tonight.
Holly Cakes Bakery located on the south side of the square in downtown Jacksonville, is the feature on tonight’s episode of Illinois Stories on PBS.
The show is hosted by Mark McDonald and focuses on telling the local stories of the people and places in central Illinois that are at times overlooked by traditional news outlets.
Holly Stewart, owner and cake artist of Holly Cakes, says filming the episode which premieres tonight, was an exciting experience that Mcdonald made easier than she had first anticipated.
“He was really nice and puts you at ease. He said ‘whatever you do, if I’m having a conversation, just look at me and talk to me like you normally would and ignore the camera.’ So we did and I had cakes already prepared in various stages of completion so we could transition easily from one to the other. It was like one of those cooking shows where they have the casserole that’s already finished in the oven, and they pull it out and here’s what it looks like as the finished product.”
Stewart says the opportunity to be on the show happened by a chance meeting. Her father works on an aircraft owned by someone related to show who mentioned they were always looking for new story ideas.
She says not long after that she was contacted by McDonald.
“Actually he contacted me before the pandemic, right when I had moved into my new space, and said ‘we are interested in doing a little bit of a story about you’, and I was elated, I was so excited. Then we had the pandemic, so that put it off for several months, and as soon as I guess he felt comfortable, he contacted me again and said ‘we are still very interested in doing a story’ and I was of course gung-ho to do it.”
Stewart created a three dimensional cake of a teddy bear for the shoot, which she then gave away via her Facebook page to the first person to guess a number she picked between 1 and 100.
She says within 20 minutes of being posted, she had over 300 guesses, and the first person that had responded with the correct number won the cake.
The “Illinois Stories” episode premieres tonight, Thursday July 16th on PBS at 7:00 pm, and will also air on Sunday July 19th at 4:00 pm, and Monday, July 20th at 6:30 pm.