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'Life is sweet' for American Fork Baker


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AMERICAN FORK — Rhonda Webb is making a pretty impressive pumpkin pie. It's 40 inches round, four inches deep and weighs 56 pounds. She made the giant pie for a giant pumpkin event at Thanksgiving Point, and she keeps getting orders for more.

But that pumpkin pie isn't the most impressive thing about the American Fork baker.

Webb made her first pie, a cherry pie, about 40 years ago.

"It was a mess," she recalls. "I made it at home, wanted to surprise my husband because he liked cherry pie, and it was a disaster."

She refined her pie making skills and spent summers baking tens of thousands of meat pies for fundraisers and then began working in local bakeries.

Twenty years ago, she began dreaming of opening her own bakery, but Webb and her family faced difficult times.

Two of her sons fell ill with cancer and one of them died, another son died of pneumonia and a staph infection, and then her husband had heart surgery.

Although these times were difficult, Webb followed three words of advice from her son, Jeremy, that have become a family motto: Life is sweet.

"Even though we have bumps in the road, life is still sweet, it's still good," she said. "It's what you make it. It's all in your attitude."

A sign in her shop is inscribed with these words as a constant reminder.

"It reminds me every day how grateful I am and you're not too old to follow your dreams."

Earlier this year, Rhonda Webb and her husband, Dave, finally got a business loan and last April, opened Rhonda's Pies in American Fork.

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On weekdays, Rhonda Webb starts baking at 3 or 4 a.m. and doesn't finish until 8:30 p.m.

"It's a lot of work — it is — but it's fun," she said. "It's fun if you enjoy your job. It's worth doing."

Webb's husband, two sons and other family members also work in the shop.

"Don't get me wrong, we go home tired," Dave Webb said. "But she's happy. She's living this joy (that) hasn't been there. This is one of those things that has brought that spark back, that spark of life."

This year Rhonda Webb and her extended family will enjoy a Thanksgiving meal at the bakery. Pie will be served. Webb says there will a lot to be thankful for.

"My first thanks is to my family," she said. "I never gave up on it and never have they."

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Utah
Peter Rosen

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