They say it takes a village to raise a child, and that’s true for a successful business, too. Until fall, Jill Rostine of Good Food Co. is relying on her village while she takes a momentary break from storefront sales to focus on prepaid and custom orders, and enjoy a belated maternity leave.
“I don’t want to do anything half-hearted,” Rostine says. “I want to do my best in all the things I do.” This includes two of her great loves – baking and motherhood – and right now, motherhood takes the cake. “It’s a full-time job to prepare for the storefront and have the storefront be open; it’s another to coordinate 10 people’s schedules to make that happen,” she says. “So I’m letting go of that portion of it until fall.”
The pastry chef emphasizes the importance of locally sourcing ingredients.
But don’t worry – you’ll still be able to grab your favorite pastries from this Feast 50-winning bake shop elsewhere in town. “I’m going to be stocking Fretboard more heavily than I have been,” Rostine says. You’ll also be able to grab a treat from the new Missouri Historical Society building, located across from Peace Park. “They have a bookstore that’s focused on Missouri authors and Missouri vendors. They’re stocking Harold’s Donuts, and I’ll have my pastries there as well.”
Rostine will also be present at the Columbia Farmers Market on Tuesdays, which generally offer more prepared foods for a quick, healthy bite for lunch – an alternative to running through a drive-thru. “We want to really get into people’s heads to create a new habit, she says. “Tuesday is a lunch hour time, 10am to 1pm. The idea is that people will pop out of their office, come over to get lunch and maybe grab some stuff for dinner. I’ll have sandwiches and salads, lemon poundcake, chocolate chip cookies, and those kinds of things that people are after.” If the market is too far to trek, upon request, Good Food Co. will also be offering boxed lunch orders to offices around town.
Flavors range from classics like brownie sundae and mint chocolate to seasonal options like mulberry and blueberry.
This momentary shift away from storefront sales will allow greater use of the kitchen, which Rostine has used as a “hub” for bakers since the last True/False festival. This summer, Sweets and Eats by Jennifer, Sugarwitch and other vendors have made good use of the Good Food Co. commissary kitchen. Jennifer’s menu features a Cuban sandwich that’s already developed its own following, and Sugarwitch offers artisan ice cream sandwiches with fresh, local ingredients sourced from the Columbia Farmers Market. “Having the door closed allows us to use the full footprint here, which may not seem like a big deal, but this space is all of 500 square feet, so if we can use the front of the counter and the back of the counter and be making ice cream while someone else is rolling cookie dough, it’s sort of a beehive of activity,” Rostine says.
The flutter of activity is exactly what Rostine envisioned for her shop from the beginning, and she’s excited to continue welcoming new faces into her kitchen. “The hub concept for me is bringing together all of these collaborative ventures and people who want to do something, but the stumbling block is having a storefront,” she says. “I have this rented storefront with business insurance and those kinds of things, which are stumbling blocks for freelance folks. I think it’s an evolution of the concept. I’ve had a bigger idea of what this thing could be and I want it to evolve and suit the needs of a lot of people, and just be vibrant and busy.”
During this hiatus, keep an eye on Good Food Co.’s social media for surprise pop ups at the storefront, or place your custom cake, pastry or lunch order by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rostine plans to be back at the counter in early autumn, ahead of the fall holiday rush.
Good Food Co., 1023 E. Walnut Ste. 7, Columbia, Missouri, 573.355.0188, facebook.com/jillbakesgoodcakes