JARED BARTON THE COLUMBUS TELEGRAM
Wildflower Pastires is driven by a key element of its passion: family.
Located at 3216 13th St., Wildflower’s story begins with family. When owner Rachel Jackson-Wedige was a child, she loved cooking with her mother.
“She baked Christmas cookies every year for people and she got that from her mom,” Jackson-Wedige said.
It inspired Jackson-Wedige to cook, she said. Even then, she knew she wanted to bake beautiful pastries.
“I always said I wanted to make cakes like Dairy Queen with fancy flowers on them, I even wrote about it as a kid,” Jackson-Wedige said. “I think about it and laugh because it’s not where I thought my life would go, but…it worked.”
Since then, Jackson-Wedige has mastered cakes, cookies, pies, macaroons, cinnamon rolls and a myriad of seasonal and new products.
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“We try to do something new every week, and we like to use seasonal fruit in our baked goods so the flavors change with the seasons,” Jackson-Wedige said.
For nearly 10 years, Jackson-Wedige said she cooked at home for friends and family, so she could earn money and be able to stay home with her three children. In 2019, however, she was able to make a big change.
“After word of mouth, friends telling friends, I had a little business going on,” Jackson-Wedige said. “I also worked at Jimko, and in 2019 I was able to quit and do this full time.”
In the fall of 2019, she started looking for a bigger space. Demand for her cakes and sweets had increased, but she still worked in a home kitchen. As 2020 and the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic rolled around, she began to wonder what to do.
“We were kind of like, ‘Okay, this is scary,’ so we started to really look around, waiting to see if it was the right time to embark on this adventure,” Jackson said- Wedige. “We found this building owned by Jay Wemhoff, and he’s been a huge help, just super nice and a really good fit.”
In October 2021 they started operating as a sit-in restaurant, where they are today. Today, years after Wildflower’s beginnings as a pastry shop, Jackson-Wedige still strives to create a warm, family atmosphere in her business.
“We want to feel welcoming, like a home away from home. We use vintage plates for those who eat in store. For cakes, we use buttercream, a lot of bakeries do carving stuff melting and I want a cake that tastes like your grandma made it,” Jackson-Wedige said.
Many things there will taste like Grandma, as Jackson-Wedige uses both her Grandma and Mom’s recipes for her treats.
“We actually use my grandmother’s bread recipe for our cinnamon rolls,” Jackson-Wedige said. “Grandma Tucker loved making bread and preserves, she had nine children and a big garden, they made everything homemade.”
The carrot cake recipe is a variation of her grandmother Jackson’s recipe and the chocolate cake is a variation of her mother’s, Jackson-Wedige added.
Family values also apply to Widlflower staff. Manager Katie Brinkman is Jackson-Wedige’s sister and order consultant Abbi Jackson is her sister-in-law.
“I think it’s special, we’re all family. It creates a unique workplace, Rachel is such a nice person, all the girls love her. She’s so nice and it helps create a friendly atmosphere” , Brinkman said.
This family atmosphere and dedication to the product has benefited the company, as Jackson said he has seen the number of new customers increase steadily over time.
“It’s been very busy. I think since the start of this year we’ve been getting a lot more orders. We expect to double last year,” Jackson said.
While cakes aren’t all Wildflower makes, Jackson-Wedige takes pride in her cakes and always makes large batches, using ingredients from local vendors.
They get eggs from Country Lane Gardens, honey from Fat Head Honey, cakes 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 might expect. In baking cakes, Jackson-Wedige would sometimes put edible wildflowers on cakes as decoration. Now, with a sit-down restaurant, she also puts them on her tables.
“We use fresh flowers on our cakes, that’s the feel of our cakes,” Jackson-Wedige said. “We opted for pastries because it’s not just cakes, it covers a wide assortment.”