Reaching her dream one smile at a time

Deserea Cullom, owner and pastry chef at Confection Obsessions Bakery, shows two of the tools of her trade after graduating from Sullivan University in Louisville, Ky. In the coming weeks, she plans to open a store front in the area with an emerald green trailer.

HANNIBAL — A local business owner is seeing her dream of opening a local bakery storefront come to life with a recipe of family traditions blended with new techniques.

Deserea Cullom remembered how she “grew up in the kitchen with my grandma and my mom” — Marilyn VanBoening and Jessica Cullom — learning family recipes and how to bake classics like cupcakes, rolls and cookies. She studied baking and pastry at Sullivan University in Louisville, Ky., and Cullom incorporates some “new twists” she learned from school in her traditional, homemade items. Cullom opened Confections Obsessions Bakery in October, and she is looking forward to setting up a storefront in the next few weeks in the area with an emerald green trailer.

Cullom has always preferred the classics introduced to her by her mother and grandmother, and the connection is evident in the pastries and confections she makes by hand.

“I like to use family recipes as much as I can, because they always just taste better than the ones you get out of a book,” Cullom said. “So I try to go and use the things I learned in school to apply to these recipes that I have, and try to bring them more the modern day.”

On the Confection Obsessions Facebook Page, Cullom’s homemade treats include a colorful cake with the grinning face of the Grinch, topped with tiny Christmas gifts, a drooping Christmas tree and a sign pointing toward Whoville; Halloween-themed cookies; and intricate cupcakes. Cullom said the pandemic has made it a tough time to open her new business, but she always looks forward to the chance to brighten someone’s day.

“I try to do that as much as I can — I try to make people smile, that’s kind of what we’re all about,” Cullom said. “If I can do that, one cupcake or one cookie at a time, that’s my whole goal.”

As she adds more items to her menu, Cullom plans to accommodate as many dietary restrictions or diets as possible in the future. She stressed her kitchen is completely commercial and state and county certified.

“We’re going to incorporate as many people as we can so they can come smile, too,” Cullom said.

Ordering opportunities and more information are available by visiting the Confection Obsessions Facebook page or Cullom can also be reached at and 573-721-2491.

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