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Nancy Perkins, Deseret News
Festival City Occasions in Cedar City makes hundreds of tarts for the Utah Shakespearean Festival every day.

CEDAR CITY — For six years, Christopher Daughton worked the night shift at a local factory making plastic buckets for a living.

"I didn't really get to see my wife and kids very much," said Daughton, 24, who has three children ages 5, 3 and 1.

Then one day, factory bosses downsized, cut back and realigned the company, leaving Daughton without a job. So he did what any energetic young man with a drive to own his own business would do — he asked his mom, Vicki Daughton, if she would like to own a hometown bakery with her son.

Vicki Daughton, who was already renting the bakery's ovens to make wedding cakes and other treats for her catering business, jumped at the chance.

"It didn't take much. I was pretty excited," she said. "I want to help him succeed."

Thus, Festival City Occasions, a bakery, deli and catering shop, was born.

"We're bringing back bakery treats the community is asking for, like alligator jaws, cinnamon crisps and cherry chip cookies," Christopher Daughton said. "People are also asking for homemade soups and barbecue chicken. We're working on expanding our menu."

The bakery itself, though, was more than a building with ovens, racks and shelves inside. It held fond childhood memories for the Daughtons, who still live nearby, and countless other Cedar City-area residents.

Christopher Daughton said he recalls walking often to the bakery on 50 W. 400 South to buy a sweet treat and hang out with friends.

"I grew up down the street and we always came here as kids. We even went on a school field trip to the bakery," he said, adding he plans to reinstate a tradition that left every kid smiling with a cookie in hand.

Ron and Cris Larsen first opened the bakery more than 40 years ago. Ron Larsen enjoyed meeting people and baking a full line of breads, cookies and sweet rolls. But his retirement three years ago meant that hometown flavor went away as well, Vicki Daughton said.

"A bakery chain bought it. Everything was brought up from St. George. It wasn't fresh," she said. "They didn't even use the ovens."

The owner of the chain bakery gladly sold the building, Christopher Daughton said.

The Daughtons are putting a sign up to signal the bakery's name change and are already busy serving lots of customers. Cris Larsen helped out by decorating the interior of the shop to reflect a Shakespearean theme, an appropriate decor because the Daughtons make hundreds of sweet tarts daily for the Utah Shakespearean Festival.

"It kind of tickles me to see Chris and his mother take over the bakery like that," Cris Larsen said. "I like his attitude. This town needs a real good bakery. People have let us know that in no uncertain terms."

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We're bringing back bakery treats the community is asking for, like alligator jaws, cinnamon crisps and cherry chip cookies.

Christopher Daughton