We're constantly inspired by the talented makers that are within our community and in our markets! In today's segment of Meet The Makers, we're getting to know Natalie Marino of Meadow Bakery. We love her nature inspired baked goods and we can't wait to see what other beautiful + yummy treats she has in store for us at our Findings Market Holiday Fair this season!
How did the idea for Meadow Bakery come about? What started this journey?
Meadow Bakery started just over a year ago, during a pretty big turning point of my life. In August 2020, I had a baby and was lucky enough to spend the first year of her life as a stay at home mom, which gave me the time and patience to really get to know myself, and what matters most to me. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen and in the garden (my favorite places!) and began putting a lot of energy into combining these passions of mine.
What started as making garden cakes for friends and family grew quicker than I realized and from that Meadow Bakery was born!
What inspires your work?
The Earth! I am deeply inspired by nature and its seasons and cycles. I love watching the plants grow, bloom and fall, the animals go through their energy and hibernation cycles, the moon wax and wane, the wheel of the year rotate. It all feels connected and it all feels a cause to celebrate and nourish.
This translates into my daily life as well as my work. I try to create cakes that celebrate and nourish both ourselves and the Earth.
Can you tell us a little bit about your process?
My recipes come from a lot of trial and error - it’s all a learning process. I try to always use ingredients that are in season and see how I can get creative with combining flavors.
A lot of recipe testing comes from my intuition and without measuring, [then it] gets tweaked and written down to become a reliable recipe. I find myself learning new techniques constantly. I don’t have any formal culinary training or education, but I do try and research as much as I can about edible and seasonal plants as well as baking sciences and techniques.
What is essential in your workspace? What helps you set the mood and get into your creative flow?
I work out of my home - which I love because it is definitely my sanctuary, especially the kitchen. I love getting started early in the morning as the sun is rising, with open windows to let in fresh air and natural light. I’ll usually do a little ritual to start the day with good intention - this involves lighting candles, setting up my kitchen altar with crystals or other little items, a big cup of coffee, and music!
We’d love to know what a perfect day in Ventura looks like for you.
A perfect day in Ventura would probably begin with coffee from one of the many amazing coffee shops in town, a walk in nature - either in the hills or by the ocean. My little family and I love having lunch at the local breweries and ending the day in our cozy little home with a big nourishing homemade dinner. This is pretty much what we do every weekend, it’s quite dreamy!
Is there anything new you're working on or any seasonal treats we can expect at the market?
Yes! I’m always working on new recipes. Lately, my favorite seasonal treat to make is apple butter. It’s like a big potion of spices and a lot of apples. Definitely expect to find it in something at the market :)
You can find Natalie's handmade pastries, here, and at our Findings Market Holiday Fair on November 26th!