GILBOA — Kelly Wolfe took her experiences cooking with her grandmother as a child and turned it into a career with her home bakery business, Little Red.
Wolfe graduated from Pandora-Gilboa High School in 1999 and directly into culinary school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she said. She earned her culinary arts degree and began work as a savory chef, which is a non-specialist chef who works on the line, making meals at restaurants, Wolfe said.
“My junior year I realized (chef) was an actual job,” she said. “Once I found out it was a job, it wasn’t a question; I was going to do it.”
After working as a savory for sometime, Wolfe pursued her pastry degree at Le Cordon Bleu, London.
“Originally it was more for travel,” Wolfe said. “But I found out it suited me better.”
Being a pastry chef is more on your own terms than being a savory chef, she said. Savory chefs are working on the line and cooking food for people when they are ready to eat, she said.
Wolfe has been a member of the American Culinary Federation since 2009 and met her partner, Brandi Smith, through the organization. Wolfe and Smith have been working on Little Red for six or seven months, Smith said. They’ve known each other for years.
Smith said she deals with the sales side of the business. She goes into grocery stores, coffee shops and other such places and asks if their interested in selling Little Red treats in their establishments.
Little Red bakery fry pies can be found at Kohls Market. Other treats can be found at coffee and tea shops in Findlay, Toledo and a winery in Arlington, Wolfe said.
“We just took (fry pies) to Kohls and said ‘we’re a small business and we’re wondering if you’re interested in selling our product,” Wolfe said.
“(Little Red) was the idea from the beginning,” Wolfe said. “But, I didn’t know it would happen so soon.”
At this time everything for Little Red is being made in Wolfe’s home and she has a home bakery license. The partners are refurbishing a two-story red brick building on main street in Gilboa into a functioning bakery.
“It’s gotten to the point where we’re not calling people, they’re calling us,” Smith said. “It doesn’t make sense to not move into a bigger place.”
“Hopefully, we’ll be open right before the holidays,” Wolfe said.
The name for the business, Little Red, was born from a friend teasing her, Wolfe said.
“My last name is Wolfe,” she said. “I have three little kids, red hair and my recipes are from my grandmother. It just kind of stuck.”
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