In the Kitchen with Jill Rostine

I first met Good Food Co. owner Jill Rostine when making my rounds for Stephens Life advertisement sales. She had just opened on New Years day and didn’t yet have a budget for advertising. All her money was invested in the equipment behind her.

That interaction hummed in the back of my mind. When the Stephens Life staff asked after possible food features, I threw my metaphorical hat in the ring to write about Rostine.

I went back to Good Food Co. with my trusty photographers Allie and Alexandra in tow a few days later. The smell of sage and cinnamon welcomed us. As Allie and Alexandra readied their trigger fingers to shoot, I washed my hands and jumped behind the counter to really get into Rostine’s baker/business owner mindset.

If the stomach is a way to someone’s heart, then the kitchen is a way into someone’s character. Ingredients and spices were lined up and stored in precise order high up on their shelves. Under the counter she had installed a cot where she could take power naps during her breaks. One corner held a pile of disarray with dish rags, charging cords, and other necessities politely shoved aside so that they wouldn’t disturb the ordered flow of the rest of the kitchen.

Throughout our conversation, customers would pop in and out of the bakery. Some were curious newcomers, others were friends checking in to give her a high-five, but my favorite furry visitors were the neighborhood dogs who came for their treats.

They raced down the apartment steps across the way and chased each other around the courtyard. Rostine pulled out a tub from under the counter filled with scraps and went outside to greet them. A corgi wearing a cone of shame barked unhappily from the second story window of a neighboring apartment and Rostine cooed that he could come and get some later.

When Rostine gave Allie, Alexandra, and I the imperfect pastries she had created that day I couldn’t help but feel a little bad for snatching them away from the doggie treat scrap bucket. The lumpy, crumbly bacon and cheese scone soon engulfed my micro-guilt and taste buds though.

I can’t wait for everybody to read about Good Food Co. in our latest issue.

Rostine has really built her business much in the same way she crafts all her pastries: from scratch and with love.

You can find The Good Food Co at 1023 East Walnut, Suite 7 in downtown Columbia, MO, online here and on Facebook here.

Photos were shot by Alexandra Martin and Allison I, Moorman and, of course, feature fresh treats from the Good Food Co.

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