Pastry Chef Sam Major and his wife, Nancy, realized their dream of owning a bakery when they purchased Tart Bakery in September 2016. Originally from Wisconsin and California, the Majors like to say, “We weren’t born in Texas, but we got here as fast as we could!”
After graduating valedictorian from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, Sam trained with renowned chocolatier Raymond Lammers at what was then Utah’s only five-star, five-diamond property, Stein Eriksen Lodge, in Park City. From there, he assumed the role of Executive Pastry Chef at Utah’s most recognized catering company, Culinary Crafts; and later at Houston’s acclaimed Mark’s American Cuisine. Immediately prior to acquiring Tart Bakery, Sam was the Executive Pastry Chef at Jackson & Company in Houston, where he designed desserts, cakes, and other specialty items for many of the city’s highest profile celebrations.
In spring of 2020, Tart Bakery was devastated by Covid-19 and subsequent shelter-in-place orders. In response, Chef Sam and Nancy developed Color My Cookie, a one-of-a-kind at-home cookie decorating kit that features pre-iced shortbreads, edible watercolors, sprinkles or edible glitter, icing, and a custom online tutorial for every kit. Within a week, sales were strong enough that all of Tart's employees could be invited back to work. Within a month, Color My Cookie was in 35 states!
A natural teacher, Chef Sam has served as an adjunct instructor of culinary arts at The Art Institute and has taught dozens of in-home classes, workshops, and seminars on baking and decorating. His favorite part of the Color My Cookie tutorials is when he eats the cookie at the end.