Millcreek gingerbread house makers debut reality show on national TV

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MILLCREEK — Elisa Barber and Brenda Nibley of The Baking Hive, 3362 South 2300 E. in Millcreek, are getting their shot to share their baking talents on The Cooking Channel and The Food Network with a reality show created around their crazy, fun lives.

“They’ve created the show and the show has become our reality,” Nibley said.

Barber is the culinary queen while Nibley is the natural talent. Together they create unique gingerbread houses. Some are fun and colorful, others resemble real homes.

“Gorgeous and like quality [ones],” Barber said. “I mean just the kind of thing you see in a magazine but you've never seen in a magazine.”

The duo was approached last fall via social media. Nibley posted a couple pictures of their creations on her Instagram account that caught the attention of a production company.

“I don't do social media but I did do a few posts on Instagram and they found the one or two that I had done,” Nibley said. “They said, ‘Would you be interested in hosting your own show?’”

It is a question she brought to her partner in crime.

“When Brenda came to me, I said, ‘Brenda, I think this might be a scam,’" Barber said.

Oh, but it wasn't. That is how the "Crazy Cookie Builds" show was born. The duo shot a pilot episode in February that aired Aug. 4. It featured a ginger house build for University of Utah’s football Coach Kyle Whittingham, celebrating his 100th win as head coach. It also followed the bakers as they created a giant edible schoolhouse to reward students at William Penn Elementary in Salt Lake City.

Barber said that experience taught her a lot about shooting reality shows.

“You'll see in the episode it was 7 feet tall, but in fact, it was 10 feet tall,” she said. “We need credit for that extra 3 feet."

The duo said filming was an unforgettable experience.

"The hardest thing I've ever done yet and I think it’s just because it hits all of your senses,” Barber said. “It's just emotional. It's mental. It's physical."

Even though it has been a grueling experience, the ladies are hoping their unique concept catches on, prompting the production company to shoot more episodes. The duo also has a Christmas special in the works.

“That's why we’re telling everyone to tune in. We've worked so hard, it needs to pay off," Barber said.

The episode on the Cooking Channel will air on Aug. 5 at midnight and 10 a.m. It will also air on the Food Network on Aug. 12 at 1:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., and on Aug. 15 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.


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Ashley Moser


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