Where are you from?
I’m from Yadkin County, North Carolina, an area known primarily for its fields, farms and vineyards. Growing up in a town surrounded by agriculture, I’ve always had a deep love for food and the community that surrounds it.
Have you always had a love for baking?
Yes! I’ve loved baking and being in the kitchen for as long as I can remember. From a young age, I was always in the kitchen with my grandma nibbling on whatever she was making and asking questions. The older I got, the more that love grew. Although I considered other avenues, I always came back to baking. Being a baker gives me access to some of the most special intimate moments of people’s lives, and I love that.
Do you personally have any culinary heroes?
I have three specifically. Miss Cheryl Day, owner of Back In The Day Bakery in Savannah, Georgia. She is a renowned legacy baker and cookbook author in the south, and I hope to have half the influence that she does. I had the chance to meet her and have a one-on-one conversation with her this past summer when visiting her shop, and I told her “I want to be just like you when I grow up,” and I meant every word of it.
Miss Kiea Mastrianni of Milk Glass Pie, a small batch pie bakery based on her and her husband’s family farm in Shelby, North Carolina. Keia’s slogan is “love is pie,” and you can truly taste it in every single thing she makes. I’m constantly inspired by what she is making and doing, and I’ve learned so much about regional baking from reading her newsletters and following along on her baking journey.
And, lastly, my local hero and the woman who has had the biggest impact on my baking journey as well as my personal growth journey is Dana Moody, former owner of West End Coffee House here in Winston-Salem. To me, Miss Dana is HOME. She is COMFORT. She is GRACE, in every sense of the word. When I was feeling defeated, she always encouraged me to keep my head up and not let things dim my light and bring me down. She has truly impacted my life more than she will ever know, and I couldn’t be more grateful to her for helping me become who I am now.
What was the catalyst for starting your business?
I started Elderflour because I wanted the freedom to make whatever I wanted and support causes that matter the most to me. I was tired of making the same things every day. I wanted to be able to explore anything and everything that interested me while also being able to grow and foster a community that I was proud of which to be a part.
What matters to you?
Feeding people and invoking feelings of comfort matter most to me. I want everything I make to elicit a comforting memory or experience. I like to say that I want the things I make to remind you of being in your grandma’s kitchen on a Sunday afternoon.
What has been your biggest hurdle as an entrepreneur?
My biggest hurdle has honestly been being a one-woman show. The baking part comes naturally to me, but now that I’m actually running a business, it’s been a little challenging to manage the emails, the ordering of supplies and ingredients, the scheduling of events and the pop-ups. October of 2023 marked one year of Elderflour being a full-fledged business, and I couldn’t be more proud of the way I’ve grown as a businesswoman and a baker.
What has surprised you the most?
Honestly, I was most surprised by the support of the community; the way people have really opened their hearts to me. The long lines at Cobblestone Farmers Market, the social media comments and story shares, the kind words said amongst each other, Winston-Salem has made me truly feel loved, wanted and accepted in a way that I’ve never experienced before.
Where can people order your product?
People can order in a few different ways. Via my Instagram DM’s @elderflourbakingco for general inquiries or on my website at elderflourbakingcompany.com. They can also find me at the Cobblestone Farmers Market in the spring, summer and fall seasons.
Who would you nominate as a person of prominence?
I would nominate Megan Thompson Aston, the owner of Kin & Cottage, a woman-owned and operated candle shop here in downtown Winston-Salem! Meg is a kind, warm, welcoming soul who stands firm in her beliefs. Kin & Cottage makes several donations a year to progressive organizations. She is making a difference one candle at a time, and I couldn’t be more proud to know and love her.