Foodie: Jennie Scheinbach

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

In the beginning, Jennie Scheinbach's skill at creating vegan baked goods that can stand up to any egg-and-butter-laden competitor almost sabotaged the reasons she started baking professionally in the first place.

After studying sociology in college, Scheinbach was looking for an income source that would allow her to care for her three children while her partner continued his higher education.

"In about a month's time, it went from baking a few things out of my house to insane amounts," she explained. "And it was like, I'm not really able to take care of my children the way I want to."

For a year and a half, Scheinbach struggled with the limitations of her home kitchen and a demand that would require her to bake 14 to 16 hours a day, until she compiled personal savings and investments from family to open Pattycake Vegan Bakery in Clintonville five years ago.

The business continued to grow and now, with a staff of nine, Scheinbach is able to make her family a priority while providing fresh cookies, cakes and moon pies daily from her storefront and supplying places like Cup O' Joe locations with packaged treats.

Beyond Columbus, Scheinbach just started selling nationally through Pattycake's website, and the bakery is currently a finalist in Veg News' online poll for the best vegan bakery in the U.S.

Scheinbach credits success to a lifelong interest in good eating, fueled by family vacations to fine-dining establishments, and her own tendency to be a perfectionist. The items made by scratch in Pattycake's kitchen include the egg replacers used in Scheinbach's recipes, and she doesn't settle on a recipe until it's totally to her satisfaction. "The blueberry muffin - that took me like 25 trials," she said.

The ways of Columbus have also helped, Scheinbach believes. "It seems like there's so much creative and collaborative energy here, all these amazing groups we're working with either peripherally or directly.

"Nobody has ever been like, 'No I don't want to work with you,'" she went on. "People are accessible and community-oriented, and it's awesome to be a part of that. I'm just reaping the benefits and maybe contributing to something that's already happening here."

During the interview, Sweet Stella Designs' Amy Neiwirth dropped off the latest result of collaboration: handmade earrings and necklaces inspired by Pattycake's inventory to be sold in the bakery.

By the end of the year, Scheinbach hopes to have a more high-profile partnership underway - a vegetarian diner she plans to open with Rad Dog! vegan hot dog vendor Tawd Bell once the right location is found.