BY D‘ARCY PATRICK EGAN
Jen Gatliff and her husband, Drew, pull the cakes, cookies and buns out of the oven each and every day at the Yellow House Bakery, which opened recently at 119 Madison St., Port Clinton. They have to, she said, to impress everyone with the special flavor of her baked goods.
It’s one of those questions the couple gets quite often.
“They want to know how come their cookies and cakes don’t taste as good,” said Jen, the principal owner of the bakers, a registered dietician with a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Bowling Green State University.
“Everything is made from scratch,” said Jen. “And we make things fresh every day, know well how short the shelf life of really good bakery is,” she said. “Preservatives, which are needed in the pre-packaged goods in grocery stores, are not used.”
Jen’s personal favorite are chocolate chip cookies, and customers are quickly finding out they can’t be matched. Most of her cookies are made from her own recipes that she’s tweaked a bit to elevate them to the masterpiece level.
To make the Yellow House Bakery a real down home place for morning coffee and a pecan or cinnamon roll, Jen is also a familiar face. She is a 2004 graduate of Port Clinton High School, where she was a cheerleader.
“It’s fun, greeting old school mates and teachers when they come into the shop,” said Jen. “And once they taste our baked goods, they’re hooked.”
Jen got her love of cooking from Grandma Judy Crosser, and her dad, Michael Crosser, who enjoys making dinner and hanging around the kitchen.
He also has a kind heart, taking in Jen and Drew and their three kids when the bakery — and their living quarters above it — were far from ready when their building renovation stalled.
“We were living in Canal Winchester when the prime space went up for sale in 2019, but the renovation wasn’t what we expected,” said Drew, who was an architect and into real estate development. That meant living with Jen’s parents home on the Lake Erie shoreline in Port Clinton with Asa, 10, Hayden, 8, and Oakley, 5. The pandemic shortcomings, a shortage of construction materials and rising prices made for a very crowded household for much longer than expected.
But the Yellow House Bakery is now done, the Gatliffs live upstairs, and the word has gotten out about their divine baked goods. Their next door neighbor, the Brick House Restaurant, loved their buns so much they’re now featured on the Brick House gourmet hamburgs.
“We love living in Port Clinton, and now we can’t wait for the summer crowds on Madison Street,” said Drew.