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Baking up success: Wildflower Pastries started with good cakes, family and keeps going strong | Local

JARED BARTON THE COLUMBUS TELEGRAM

Wildflower Pastires is driven by one key element in their passion — family.

Located at 3216 13th St., Wildflower’s story begins with family. When owner Rachel Jackson-Wedige was a child, she loved baking with her mother.

“She would do Christmas cookies every year for people and she got that from her mom,” Jackson-Wedige said.

That inspired Jackson-Wedige to bake, she said. Even then, she knew she wanted to make beautiful baked goods.

“I always said I wanted to make cakes like Dairy Queen made with the fancy flowers on them I even wrote about it as a kid,” Jackson-Wedige said. “I look back on it and chuckle because it’s not where I thought my life would actually lead but… it worked out.”

Since then, Jackson-Wedige has mastered cakes, cookies, pie, macarons, cinnamon rolls and a myriad of seasonal and new products.

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“We try to do something new every week, and we love using in-season fruit in our pastries so the flavors will change with the seasons,” Jackson-Wedige said.

For almost 10 years, Jackson-Wedige said she baked from home for friends and family, as a way to earn money and be able to stay home with her three children. In 2019, though, she was able to make a big change.

“After word of mouth, friends telling friends, I had a little business going,” Jackson-Wedige said. “I was also working at Jimko, and in 2019, I was able to quit there and do this full-time.”

In fall of 2019, she began looking for a bigger space. Demand for her cakes and treats had increased, but she was still working out of a home kitchen. As 2020 and the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic rolled in, she began to question what to do.

“We were kind of like ‘okay, this is scary,’ so we started to really look around, waiting to see if this is the right time for jumping into this venture,” Jackson-Wedige said. “We found this building Jay Wemhoff owned, and he’s helped a lot, just super kind and it’s a really good fit.”

In October of 2021, they began operating as a sit-in eatery, where they are today. Now, years after Wildflower’s beginnings as a cake bakery, Jackson-Wedige still strives for a homey, family feel in her business.

“We want to feel welcoming, like a home away from home. We use vintage plates for those eating in shop. As far as cakes go, we use buttercream, a lot of bakeries do that fondant sculpture stuff and I want a cake that tastes like your grandma made it,” Jackson-Wedige said.

Many things there will taste like grandma made them, because Jackson-Wedige uses her grandmothers’ and mother’s recipes for her treats.

“We actually use my grandma’s bread recipe for our cinnamon rolls,” Jackson-Wedige said. “Grandma Tucker loved to make bread and can, she had nine children and big garden, they did everything homemade.”

The carrot cake recipe is a variation of her Grandma Jackson’s recipe and the chocolate cake, a variation of her mother’s, Jackson-Wedige added.

The family values ​​branch to the staff at Wildflower as well. Manager Katie Brinkman is Jackson-Wedige’s sister, and Ordering Consultant Abbi Jackson is her sister-in-law of her.

“I think it’s special we’re all family. It creates a unique workplace, Rachel is such a kind person, all the girls love her. She’s so sweet and that helps make a friendly atmosphere,” Brinkman said.

That family atmosphere and dedication to the product has profited for the business, as Jackson said she’s seen the number of new customers increase steadily over time.

“It’s very busy. I think just since the beginning of this year, we’re getting way more orders coming in. We project we’ll double last year,” Jackson said.

While cakes are not all Wildflower does, Jackson-Wedige is proud of her cakes and still does great quantities of them, using ingredients from local vendors.

They get eggs from Country Lane Gardens, honey from Fat Head Honey, cake toppers from Rustic Lux designs and last but not least, wildflowers from Blossoms Floral and Home.

As for the name, it’s more literal than one would expect. In baking cakes, Jackson-Wedige would sometimes put edible wildflowers on the cakes as decoration. Now, with a sit-in eatery, she puts them on her tables de ella as well.

“We use fresh flowers on our cakes, that’s the feel of our cakes,” Jackson-Wedige said. “We went with pastries because it’s not just cakes, it covers a wide assortment.”

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