Drawing inspiration from trips abroad, family histories and childhood nostalgia, these entrepreneurs inspire us with their baked creations and stories of determination.
Emily Irvine wanted to work in food because she loved eating it. She remembers the bite that sparked the love affair. “It was a crème brûlée—the cracking of the top and the shards of caramelized sugar and the creamy cool vanilla custard,” recalls the Bexley native. Read more about Irvine’s business, Ohio Pies.
Calvin Kim and his wife, Sasha, dove into the world of home bakers after discovering that Columbus lacked a sweet treat readily available in his home country of South Korea. “While we were dating and living in South Korea, we tried some macarons in Seoul and really enjoyed them,” Calvin says. “But after moving to Columbus in 2014, we couldn’t find anything like the ones we tried [there].” Read more about Mjomii’s journey.
Matt Swint doesn’t mince words about how COVID-19 affected his wholesale baking business: “I got slaughtered.” Beloved by local chefs for its focaccia and ciabatta, Matija Breads went from 20 active customers a month to four when Ohio’s dine-in ban took effect. “If I had been a larger [business] and lost all my customers at once, I don’t know what I would have done. [Being small] makes you extremely nimble,” Swint says. Read more about Matt Swint’s wholesale bakery, Matija Breads.
Three Bites Bakery
A professional baker for six years, Isabella Bonello worked at Pistacia Vera and Fox in the Snow Café before launching her own cottage bakery, Three Bites, a year and a half ago as a side business. “I think the one thing that would set Three Bites apart is it’s not just a hobby; it’s what I’ve spent years developing,” she says, explaining that her goal is to open a retail bakery someday. Read more about Isabella Bonello’s home bakery, Three Bites.
Mention French pastry in Columbus and Michelle Kozak’s name is often one of the first to come up. Her baking business, Pâtisserie Lallier, is treasured by those craving fresh pain au chocolat, fruit tarts, madeleines and even meticulously made confections that fill Advent calendars during the holidays. Read more about Michelle Kozak’s home bakery, Pâtisserie Lallier.
Baking is a skill handed down to Adrian Jones by her grandmother and mother. Using their recipes as a foundation, Jones started Kennedy’s Kakes (named after her own daughter, Kennedy) in 2009 as a part-time business from her home kitchen. “I just took a leap of faith and started selling the things that people always asked me for, and it was my pound cake that my mom made and sweet potato pie,” says the baker and cake artist. Read more about Adrian Jones and Kennedy’s Kakes.
Jan Kish-La Petite Fleur
For 40 years, Worthington baker Jan Kish has been delighting Central Ohio with her whimsical, extravagant wedding and celebration cakes. For Kish, baking is about “looking at cake as an art form—a good, edible art form,” she says. Read more about Jan Kish-La Petite Fleur.
For Dublin resident Pearl Althoff, baking just fits into her lifestyle. “Ever since I can remember, I’ve been in the kitchen helping my mom, helping my grandma,” she says. “It’s always been something that’s brought me joy.” Read more about Moonflower Bakery.