From gourmet cupcakes to fairy rolls, Las Vegas baker opens new bakery

First-time visitors to the new TSP. Baking Co. sometimes do a double-take when they see the tattooed baker with the platinum blond faux-hawk and broad smile behind the counter, perhaps wondering if they’re in the wrong shop.

But Kari Garcia (formerly Kari Haskell) has been selling sweets in the northwest valley since 2008. At the height of the gourmet cupcake craze, the former stay-at-home mom used social media and ice cream-inspired cupcake flavors such as brownie sundae and mint chocolate chip to make her Retro Bakery the sweet shop of choice for the Las Vegas in-crowd. And Retro cupcakes became the must-have accessories for food fashionistas.

As she and her husband/partner Brian soon discovered, however, culinary trends come and go quickly. “When ‘Cake Boss’ and ‘Ace of Cakes’ and all those shows started,” Garcia recalls, “people kept coming in asking ‘Do you do crazy cakes?’” And while Brian found himself thriving in that market, she had no desire to jump on another bandwagon.

In the meantime, the couple were facing a romantic split. Their divorce was finalized in 2015. Brian bought her share of Retro this year, and she went to work creating TSP at 6120 N. Decatur Blvd. This time, though, she’s not following any fads.

Take, for example, the store’s most popular product: a new creation of Garcia’s she’s playfully christened fairy rolls. A whimsical offshoot of her simple cinnamon rolls, made with light, fluffy croissant dough, they substitute humble white icing adorned with rainbow sprinkles for the original’s sharp cinnamon frosting.

In a world where desserts are often judged more on their decadent appearance than taste, these are fairly modest creations. But they’re downright addictive — the shop routinely runs out of them before noon. (Call ahead to reserve a few.)

That’s not to say TSP Bakery is without the over-the-top decadence the chef’s fans have grown to love. Her personal creative focus is on cookies because, she says, “I love cookies more than anything on the planet.” Flavors range from simple sugar or frosted lemon cookies to the mega-chip variety she first created at Retro, packed with milk chocolate, white chocolate, peanut butter and butterscotch chips.

To complement them, she’s become the only local establishment other than the California hotel to offer Hawaii’s Lappert’s ice cream. “I really want to be the place where you can get the best ice cream sandwich you’ve ever eaten,” she says of the combination.

Garcia’s new bakery hasn’t abandoned cakes or cupcakes. The latter, however, have been downsized in both variety and guilt factor, with a circumference about the same as a half-dollar.

“I’m only going to have 12 flavors at once,” Garcia explains. “And they’re always going to be little. I won’t do regular-sized cupcakes, because I was hearing a lot of complaints that they’re too rich, too big, too sweet. So it’s two bites and you’re happy.” But with options such chocolate peppermint, cinnamon French toast and monkey bite (cinnamon banana cake with caramel frosting and potato chips), stopping after just one will be a challenge for some customers.

Garcia is hoping all of these products will help her find long-term success both in and beyond Las Vegas. “This has the potential,” she says confidently as she eyes her display cases, “of being kind of major.”

Contact Al Mancini at Follow @AlManciniVegas on Twitter.

Entertainment Videos
Arcade ‘speakeasy’ leads to secret door and Banksy art in Las Vegas
Arcade ‘speakeasy’ leads to secret door, Banksy art in Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hazel in Las Vegas serves modern takes on traditional cocktails
Hazel serves modern takes on traditional cocktails (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas celebrates St. Patrick's Day
Tonight the city lit the Welcome sign green, McMullan's Irish Pub and the Guinness store also prepare for this weekend's St. Patrick's Day festivities. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Reuben sandwich at Served in Henderson, near Las Vegas
Matthew Meyer, chef/owner of Served, makes a Reuben sandwich with house-brined corned beef, house-made sauerkraut and gooey melted cheese at his restaurant in Henderson, outside Las Vegas. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Las Vegas day club season returns with big-name DJs
Rick Ross, March 23, at Daylight Beach Club at Mandalay Bay The Chainsmokers, March 30, at Encore Beach Club Marshmello, April 6, Kaos Dayclub at the Palms Chuckie, May 11, Marquee Dayclub at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Calvin Harris, May 11, Wet Republic at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Pizza expert Chris Bianco makes meatballs in Las Vegas
Chris Bianco, who was the keynote speaker at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, demonstrates meatball making for expo attendees. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Las Vegas pulmonologist talks about new movie dealing with cystic fibrosis
Dr. Craig Nakamura, Director of Cystic Fibrosis Center of Southern Nevada, talks about the upcoming romantic drama “Five Feet Apart” where both of the lead characters suffer from cystic fibrosis. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
World Pizza Champion crowned in Las Vegas
At the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, Italian pizzaiolo Federico De Silvestri took the top prize and more than $12,000. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Italian wins Pizza Maker of the Year at Pizza Expo
Federico De Silvestri of Verona, Italy, wins the finals in the non-traditional pizza category during the International Pizza Challenge at the International Pizza Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center Thursday, March 7, 2019. De Silvestri went on to beat winners from each of the four other categories — traditional, pan, pizza Napoletana and Roman — to win Pizza Maker of the Year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Good Pie Coming To Arts District
Local pizzaiolo Vincent Rotolo says Good Pie is coming to the Arts District. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Local comedian says "It's ok to laugh, ...the comedy club is dark."
K-Von, a half-Persian comedian, talks about his style of comedy which keeps audiences entertained.
Pizza Dough Throwing Competition
Contestants participate in the World Pizza Games at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, Wednesday night. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
World Pizza Games showcased in Las Vegas
The World Pizza Games, part of the International Pizza Expo, drew competitors from all over the world to Las Vegas to compete in events such as dough stretching and box folding. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Pizza competitors dazzle at international expo
The International Pizza Expo at Las Vegas Convention Center included the first rounds of the World Pizza Games. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas showcases products and trends
At the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, vegan and gluten-free menu choices and compostable packaging were highlighted, as well as Detroit-style and Roman-style pizza. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Chef Dan Krohmer talks about a new restaurant
Chef Dan Krohmer talks about the construction of his new restaurant at Fremont Street’s Fergusons Downtown complex in downtown Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Neon Museum lights up the Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign
The Neon Museum in Las Vegas flipped the switch on its latest acquisition Monday night, the Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
A Taste of Eataly Las Vegas
Executive Chef Nicole Brisson gives a tour around Eataly Las Vegas, located in the Park MGM. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Order a pretty purple cocktail at North Italia in Las Vegas
Order a pretty purple cocktail at North Italia in Las Vegas (Janna Karel/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Towering triple decker sandwich at Sadelle’s at Bellagio in Las Vegas
Jonah Resnick, executive chef of Sadelle’s, the newest restaurant at Bellagio in Las Vegas, serves a daunting concoction of roast beef layered with house-made cole slaw, turkey and more cole slaw, on rye bread. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
Paris Las Vegas Debuts New Eiffel Tower Light Show
The Paris in Las Vegas unveiled its latest Eiffel Tower light show, Wednesday evening. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video: Las Vegas Omelet House Marks 40th anniversary
Omelet House at Charleston Boulevard and Rancho Drive in Las Vegas, which opened in 1979, is a locals’ favorite, known for fluffy six-egg omelets. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Golden Knights' Ryan Reaves readying new beer
Ryan Reaves, a forward with the Golden Knights, has plans for a second beer, a lager, through his 7Five Brewing Co. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Bellagio Adds Lady Gaga To The Fountain Playlist
Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” has been added to the rotation of classic tunes played for the dancing waters at Lake Bellagio. The song debuted at 6 p.m. Monday. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Comedian uses laughter to bring understanding about AIDS
Comedian Brandon Cox Sanford talks about how he uses his comedy sketches to bring light to his AIDS diagnosis. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
20th anniversary of the House of Blues in Las Vegas
Sasha Rincon-Camacho, regional marketing director, talks about the 20th anniversary of the House of Blues in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Meow Wolf opening an 'otherworldly' art experience in Las Vegas
Meow Wolf opening "otherworldly" art experience in Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New caneles pastries served at tea at Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas
Tony Gauthier, executive pastry chef at the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas, was trained to make caneles in Bordeaux in his native France, and they’re a new feature on the hotel’s afternoon tea. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Celebrate Margarita Day With The Hot Damn Margarita
Celebrate Margarita Day With The Hot Damn Margarita (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Yard House margarita changes color in the glass
The cocktail, as made by lead bartender Taylor Cole at Town Square in Las Vegas, changes from deep blue to magenta because of a chemical reaction between its butterfly pea flowers and citrus agave. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Home Front Page Footer Listing