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We all know someone like Tyler King. Curious, ambitious, driven, determined to change the face of baked goods in Omaha. And with offerings from Copper Finch Creation like matcha almond knots, green olive and cheddar sticks, and insane stuffed cookies (think a whole s’more stuffed inside of a soft graham cookie and topped with another s’more) it won’t be long before he accomplishes the latest task on his to-do list.

Since he was a kid, Tyler has loved cooking. He comes from a family of restauranteurs. Yet, when he first decided what he wanted to do with his life, the police academy was the first stop. Realizing that wasn’t his real calling, Tyler pivoted into landscape design, making a career of it from an internship before ever graduating college (he dropped out once landing the “goal” job). Next came the need for more flexibility, a time for a new life with a new wife. Enter Tyler’s previous photography business TK Imaging (mainly weddings) then King Nature Photography which as the name suggests, focuses on nature photography.

Through each of these changes, food was always on Tyler’s mind. A lover of art, he named each of his nature photos and became enamored with the name Copper Finch. It never quite fit any of his art prints but was the perfect name for the restaurant he one day wanted to own. And when it came time for another pivot, Tyler figured Copper Finch Creations would be fitting for his new bakery and time to join a collective like Kitchen Council.

Another thing always on Tyler’s mind is the idea that this isn’t his “practice life.” Why not start a photography business? Why not transition into writing recipes and opening a bakery? Why not “blow up” traditional thinking about baking and throw matcha into a Swedish cardamom bun and create something decidedly not boring like matcha almond knots? “We don’t get to do this again, so I believe if there is something in your life that you want to do, you should do it.”

I don’t have a ‘background’ in this so I know there’s rules, and I respect the rules but I also respectfully break the rules.

Copper Finch isn’t Tyler’s first pastry rodeo. Before this latest spark, Tyler created custom hand carved fondant wedding cakes, even making his own wedding cake, a seven-tier marvel. Copper Finch isn’t meant to just be a bakery. It’s Tyler’s way of challenging normal baked goods trying things that others don’t have the guts to do. “I don’t have a ‘background’ in this so I know there’s rules, and I respect the rules but I also respectfully break the rules.” His goal to make a splash and break the current bakery dichotomy in Omaha (traditional good but boring bakery vs. sweet unicorn cake trendy bakery) may seem like a tall order. Until you spend five minutes seeing the amount of care Tyler puts into each item he produces. From constantly “mad science-ing” products he comes across like squid ink and taro root, to figuring out ways to create bread specifically for farmers markets at a crazy affordable price point, Copper Finch Creations is far and away a great example of the ingenuity that comes from our local food scene and entrepreneurs.

As Kitchen Council gets more attention and the food scene expands, thanks to social media and more curious palates, goals for Copper Finch in 2019 include adding new sales outlets to a growing list that includes The Bike Union (18th and Dodge) and exploring new partnerships with local ice cream shops like Coneflower or Ted & Wally’s. The end goal, a reimagined Dixie Quicks, a way to combine his love of art in a gallery with his love of baked goods that continues to push the conventional ideas of pastry in the Omaha and Council Bluffs area. Through it all, Tyler looks forward to growing, gaining exposure and contributing to a unique community of food entrepreneurs at Kitchen Council.

Story written by Ashley Rae TurnerPhotography © 2018 Anna Finocchiaro and Ashley Rae Turner