Homestead Kitchen & Bakery

We sat down and did two interviews: One with Lori Gardner (the owner of Homestead Kitchen & Bakery) and the other with Justin Kempenar (a worker at Homestead Kitchen & Bakery) to get the real scoop of their lives in a new bakery of a small town.

Interview with Lori Gardner, Owner


What inspired you to open Homestead Kitchen & Bakery in Baldwin City?

“Well I realized that Baldwin City needed a spot like Homestead, we needed a good bakery, some really awesome products and a place to gather as a community, visit and enjoy one another.”

What kind of relationship do you strive to have with your customers and students of Baker University?

“We try to have a really personal relationship with each and every customer. We want to learn the names of our regulars and new customers. We like to know their situation and what is going on in their lives and ask questions. Just so that we connect with them.”

What type of things do you have to differently as a small business owner?

“Well we try to really be in touch with what the community needs in regards to product and services. We  always want to be in touch with that and meet those needs.”

What kind of events/specials would you like to see in the future for Baker University students?

“We are working on doing some afternoon specials for students both for high school and college for sure. I like the idea of small bite menus and cookies. We have some pretty neat things planned that you have to look forward to finding out.”

“Quiet early mornings and all of my wonderful customers is why I love owning and operating Homestead Kitchen and Bakery.” – Owner Lori Gardner

Interview with Justin Kempenar, Worker

What is your favorite part about working at Homestead Kitchen & Bakery?

“My favorite part would probably have to be is working with the customers. I just love the customers that we get here. I also like working with co-workers because they always make sure it is a fun environment all around.”

In regards to work, which aspects do you enjoy the most?

“Scooping ice cream is great but being able to learn how to cook new things, like sandwiches has be to the best. I never thought I would be doing so.”

Did you ever plan on working at a store like Homestead?

“No, I really didn’t know what my first job would be. I never planned on this but it’s the best first job I could’ve hoped for.”

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