Lyn Gossage said there’s not a craft project she hasn’t tried her hand at throughout the last 40 years. She also loves to bake breads, pies, muffins, brownies and other goods.
She said baking is an art form, one she has shared with family, friends, church members and clients.
Gossage has taken her favorite arts to a new level, and throughout the last 40 years sold baked goods and hand-crafted items at weekend festivals and craft shows, setting up shop in the morning and taking it down in the evening.
It’s a lot of work, she said. “Some of us are tired of doing shows every week.”
During those years, she connected with a lot of fellow artisans, so when she came up with the idea to open an artisan’s market, she knew who to call. In August, the doors opened on The Shops at Back to Basics Market, 2113 Pace Street in Covington.
The market combines the idea of renting stalls at an antique mall with forming a cooperative. Artisans set up a display in the storefront and everybody shares advertising costs and takes turn running the shops.
So far, the market offers:
- Fresh eggs regularly and fresh chickens on Saturday from J & J Funky Chickens;
- Doterra Essential Oils and Herbs, owned by Lauranell Bryan Thomas, a nurse and wellness advisor;
- Pet Delights, homemade, vegetarian dog, cat and horse treats;
- Stained glass and violin and voice lessons, offered by Mary Leinweber;
- Twist and Bent, jewelry by Linda Sumner;
- The Soap Place, by Luann Shutley; and
- Granny’s Attic, shabby chic furniture and jewelry.
In addition to baked goods, Gossage sells crafts and items through four additional shops:
- Dream Weavers, baskets and cream catchers;
- Garden of Eden, garden finds and vintage items, like pottery pitchers or metal baskets;
- Once Upon a Time, costume accessories; and
- Unique Vintage, antiques and vintage items.
Occasionally, as part of Ample Harvest, a nonprofit resource that connects growers, food pantries and the hungry, farmers will drop off extra produce to give to people coming in to the shops.
“I’ll never turn away anyone hungry,” she said.
The shops are still evolving, Gossage said. She uses Facebook to connect with additional artisans, advertising the available space at the Back to Basics market. She hopes to attract many more artisans, people who share her commitment to making small batches of
“It’s still evolving,” she said. “The more people [who] get in, the more hours I can spend baking.”
And baking is one thing she really loves to do, she said. Bread of Life is the name of the shop that sells her baked goods. She uses real butter, no artificial ingredients, no genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
“You can taste the goodness,” she said. “I taste everything I make. I won’t sell it if it doesn’t taste good.”
She majored in home economics with an art and business background, but it was her husband, Kevin’s love of pie, that inspired her turn her hand to perfecting pie crusts.
The pies are made with organic fruit, either frozen or seasonal. There’s cherry, apple and triple berry, a combination of raspberry, blackberry and strawberry. Then there are the fruit combinations she’s created, primarily, she said, because she doesn’t have enough of one fruit for a whole pie — like the strawberry-cranberry pie she recently made, one that reminded her of strawberry rhubarb piece since cranberries, like rhubarb, are tart.
Like the pies, some Gossage’s jams and jellies feature unique combinations of flavors — blueberry-peach, peach-mango, pear-raspberry and spiced caramel pear. There also are more recognizable flavors like spiced pear, peach, berry, strawberry and blueberry. All are organic.
A bakery in the future
The breads can be just as unique. She uses a combination of sausage and cheese, or a vegetarian mix as stuffing for the bread dough. Though she cannot serve sandwiches, she sells bread stuffed with meat and cheese or a vegetarian mix, items she bakes at home under a business license classified as a cottage license.
“Since we’re categorized as a farmer’s artisan market, can’t sell hot drinks,” she said. “I will give them away for donations that go to Feeding America.
“Once we get the bakery in and a café license can sell coffee,” she said.
Gossage not only organizes the annual holiday market at Allen Memorial United Methodist Church in Oxford, she also bakes the Communion bread, a combination of white and whole wheat. She is also working on a large order of Ezekiel bread for a client.
The bread, made of sprouted grains like wheat, oats, barley and millet, and soybeans and lentils, “was the original food eaten in the desert,” she said. “It was unleavened, though the modern version is leavened.”
In the future, she hopes to be able to offer cooking and baking classes at the store, once the bakery becomes a reality. “I’ll start teaching classes on how to make good food that’s good to eat.
“I want to be able to teach people and break the cycle of poverty,” she said.