Hello friends, welcome to our inaugural Farm to You Market & Barnyard Café blog post! We’ve wanted to do this for a while—to have a place to talk to you, our friends and fans. This is a place to talk food. To talk recipes and ingredients. To talk about where our food comes from and where it’s been. To talk about farmers and our connection with our food supply. To talk about sustainability and supporting our local economy. We hope that you enjoy hearing from us, and we welcome you to our store and restaurant.
I wanted to start by introducing you to our culinary team here at the Barnyard Café. I’m executive chef Bailey Kirkland, a graduate of the East Central Culinary Arts program in Union, MO and a true fan of food. I’m originally from Florida – where my grandmother taught me to make good ol’ fashioned biscuits and gravy, but I grew up in Alaska on a small island in the middle of the Aleutian chain where the cuisine was eclectic and the scenery beautiful. Inspired by everything around me, my passion became art—from photography and design to culinary. Enjoying such luxuries as fresh fish in Alaska allowed me the understanding that locally-raised, fresh ingredients are the key to good eating.
Becca is our sous chef. She is 21-years-old, engaged to her best friend from the ECC culinary program she also attended, and adores her two cat “furbabies.” Originally from Webster Groves, she grew up in Montgomery county and Warrenton. Becca is a cake decorator; her specialty is making wedding cakes and other treats. She’s been at it since she was 11-years-old when she began painting and drawing—which then led her to find art in food. Becca loves working at the Barnyard Cafe because of both the amazing ingredients and her talented and wonderful coworkers. Becca often notes that I am her mentor from culinary school, we became friends quickly there and are fortunate to be able to work together here at the Barnyard Café!
We have to give a shout out to our Sales Team out on “The Floor,” because their winning smiles and charming personalities are what not only sell our products, but they are who gets our customers to try the delicious food at the Café or attend our dinners! We have a great group, and some who are not mentioned here but are wonderful additions to our team never-the-less! Come stop in and meet everyone!
Danielle is our newest team member, and likes to joke – saying that she is ‘probably actually the oldest on the floor. 😊’ She says as a customer, the outstanding products brought her in, and the customer service kept her coming back! She says she is blessed to now be part of a team that deeply cares about making every customer enjoy their shopping experience. Danielle’s been with us for a short time, but you wouldn’t know it; she often has her nose in information pamphlets and books to ensure she is educated on our products for the customers!
Michelle B. can be found helping customers on the sales floor and at the register. She lives in Villa Ridge and is our comic relief. This girl is always laughing and lighting our place up with her smile! Michelle started out as a customer of the Market and became hooked on Todd Geisert Pork Sticks, she had to work here to support her habit (just kidding). She loves WWE wrestling and says the best thing about working at FTY is her co-workers.
Rachel has been working with Todd and Katie Geisert since before the Farm to You Market opened, tending to whatever is placed in front of her. She likes to joke that that makes her our “oldest” employee—but she’s not really. She works full time at St. Francis Borgia High School and the market is her FUN job. She lives in Washington and is well known by our customers. The market is her passion, she believes in what we do here and thinks it’s important to know where her food comes from. Rachel supports sustainable farmers and prefers food without chemicals or medicine. She is also full of information about our products – go ahead and ask her where something comes from, she probably knows! She has also been asked if she is Todd’s wife so many times that her name tag actually reads, “Rachel, not Todd’s wife!”
Todd’s real wife is Katie Geisert, who is the real owner of the business. Todd and Katie had a desire to share the great products that are made locally and sustainably while getting Katie out of the corporate world and ‘back on the farm’. Although a lot of Katie’s time is in the office, she loves to work in the kitchen and talk about the great food we have to offer. Katie makes an amazing pork chop, which is why you’ll find her at the grill when we host dinners. We are fortunate to have such a multi-talented boss!
Todd Geisert, our Resident Farmer, can be found visiting with the customers in the store, mostly on the weekends. He is passionate about our story and can be found sharing it with everyone. To the many children that frequent the market, he is known as Farmer Toad and greets the kids, aka his “future customers,” with a high five and a big smile. If there are ever questions about meat, Todd is the one to ask.
So, that’s our team and now you know our plan—to bring you some good food for thought along with the art that we prepare for you to eat. I hope you’ll join us soon. Please comment below with any topics you’d like to hear about and I’ll do my best to include them.
All the best, Chef Bailey Kirkland