Local Bake Shop Mixes Day Job with Night Job for a Fun Event

9 May

We have mentioned Kelly Provost before. She started as Treats Bakery in the Food Fort Kitchens and then rebranded to Local Bake Shop. She spends some evenings and weekends here creating her inspired baked treats for catered events, farmers markets and more. During the day, she lives in the world of IT. In this episode of when World Collide, Kelly decided to use the Fort Fort as an event space for a team building event for her co-workers from her IT department. Many people have been using our space as a small event space and having fun mixing business with pleasure. It sounds like Kelly and company enjoyed their time in the kitchen.

This is the “field report” from Kelly.

The IT BA and PM team had a team building event. We took over commercial kitchen space at the Food Fort to organize into teams and bake four different, multi-step items within a set period of time. As a twist, each team had varying levels of “requirements” with their recipes. We learned some things about baking, about how we work together, about different kinds of requirements and decision-making, and we enjoyed some delicious treats!

(There were caveman sugar cookies, compliments of Blind Mice Bakery in the Lavender Lounge this morning.) 

Team Three Blind Mice (AKA Blind Mice Bakery) and their Koulourakia/Halal/Caveman Sugar Cookies

Retreat 1

Team Tart (Sweet, Savory, and Pop) with sweet blueberry tarts and savory cheese and tomato tarts

Retreat 2

The Pipers and their cream cheese filled chocolate cupcakes

Retreat 3

Team Puff and their Cream Puffs

retreat 4

Enjoying treats!

Retreat 6

We had great time!!!

Pantry Panic Training: Eating Healthy on a Shoestring Budget

2 May

Last friday, 22 community development workers from Homeport came to the Food Fort for the second of two training sessions led by the director of nutrition at MidOhio Foodbank. She developed the Pantry Panic curriculum to educate people on how to design a meal plan that fits MyPlate‘s recommendations while still keeping costs low. She also touches on table-setting, sourcing food from a food-pantry, and how to shop efficiently by planning ahead. The curriculum is meant to be broken up into four sessions, so we walked through the first two classes on the first training day, and last friday we worked on the last two classes.


After the training session, the community development workers at Homeport will be teaching the curriculum in the community. Homeport is a non-profit organization that offers safe and affordable housing in various neighborhoods of Columbus. In addition, they lead community groups for a wide range of age groups that focus on increasing financial literacy and development of various life skills. They plan to incorporate the Pantry Panic curriculum into some of their community groups now that they’ve gone through the training to teach the class.

The training class was highly successful in terms of how much we all learned, but it was also a lot of fun! On the last day of Pantry Panic, participants receive a mystery box with a variety of produce, either meat or beans for their protein, and rice or pasta. They are then to create a casserole that incorporates all of their ingredients and using a very basic recipe. This recipe as well as the others in the curriculum focus on making a meal based on what’s in the pantry rather than relying on extra trips to the grocery store to fill in the gaps.

Pantry Panic 1

The flurry of activity in the kitchen resulted in a wide variety of casseroles. For example, one group made a vegan sweet-and-sour dish, while another incorporated a white sauce they made earlier that day for an Italian fair. At the end of the training session, all the groups had a chance to try out any or all of the casseroles.

Pantry Panic 2

We look forward to assisting them in any way we can so that Pantry Panic can reach their communities. Our partners at MidOhio Foodbank and Homeport were wonderful to work with–we can’t thank them enough for their hard work they do in Columbus, Ohio.

(Note: This post was by Lydia Whittington, whose last day at Food Fort was May 3rd, Thank you Lydia for your hard work!).

The Conclusion of the “Pig Mass Experiment”

20 Mar

In December, we posted about our relationship with the Davidson Family Farm and our decision to save food scraps for their pigs. Throughout winter, we able to fill one container (or more) to the rim with food waste each week. Collectively, we kept 50 to 150 lbs of food waste out of our dumpster and put it into the bellies of twelve piglets the Davidson’s started feeding in the fall. Each container equalled one or more days of meals for the pigs.


Today Wendy from the farm came to make her last pick up for the season and it was our heaviest load to date. It was filled with beans, tortillas, bread, apple cores, vegetable cuttings, donuts and more. Wendy shared that the pigs know when a barrel comes back from the Food Fort. The pigs get excited because they know it will soon be time to eat like gourmets for the day. We appreciated the opportunity to put our waste to good use for the winter. We will look for other sustainable uses for our leftovers for the rest of the year.

It Takes a Village to Serve an OH! Burger

5 Mar

We have a collaborative community at the Food Fort. We see it everyday as members share ideas, pass on recipe hints and brainstorm with each other on the next special or business concept. This past week, we saw true team spirit shine through.

Brian Thornton from OH! Burgers had the transmission die on his food truck. It would take $2500 and three or more days to fix the problem. In the meantime, the key to have a profitable mobile food business is to have the ability to…..move. We thought of some different solutions: attaching a horse or mule team to the truck, borrowing another truck or sitting on the curb despondent about three days of lost business.

In a short time better plans came together.

Here is the recipe for getting Brian on the road.

Brian borrowed the Kenny’s Meat Wagon cart from Ken Donnelly and was loaned an SUV with a towing hitch by Alex from Tatoheads.




For Friday, Laura Lee of Ajumama opted not to take the day off and instead partnered with Brian to do a pop-up combo on her truck. The two partnered with special items from the Ajumama menu and select items from OH! Burgers, so the two could work together to have Aju-Burgers / OH!Jumama set up for lunch at an OSU medical facility. (Please note the infamous, MikeGuyver, in the background of the shot with a thumbs up).



Friday night, Brian picked up his truck at 5:00 pm and raced to the Instaband Battle of Bands Competition with his repaired OH! Burgers truck but had a back up plan of borrowing the Kenny’s Meat Wagon Cart or having another member sub for him. Kenny worked the truck with Brian to complete the circle.

Upcoming Cooking Class Series at the Food Fort

25 Feb

Bleu and Fig introduces:

Cooking Classes with Sass

at the Fort.

Cool original ideas by local female chefs.
Fun night out with good food and good friends.
Bring your own wine.

March 12:


Treats Logo 1Dinner Rescue Crew

Chef Kelly of Treats 4 Everyone (now known as Local Bake Shop) and Chef Melissa of Dinner Rescue Crew

Chicken Veloute (you’ll never use the stuff in the can again)
15 Minute Chicken a la King
Healthy Biscuits, yes…healthy biscuits
Seasonal Fruit Cobbler

Help support us in the Job Raising Challenge!

13 Feb

We are now in 7th place (update) 5th place (as of February 20th) in the JobRaising Challenge! We still need your help.

Please pass along the link below to all of your friends and contacts!

Job Raising Challenge

One of the primary missions of the JobRaising Challenge is to tap into the job-creating potential of nonprofits to raise money, awareness, and help put Americans back to work.

That is what we do.

How do we do this? We do this by investing in a job a day and a business a week.

How can you help us? Donate!

Follow this link to our direct ECDI page.

Every donation brings ECDI that much closer to bringing the $150,000 grand prize home to the state of Ohio where we will invest, educate, and innovate with the businesses and people we inspire.

Thank you in advance for your continued support of ECDI and our programs!

Food Fort All-Stars at Pecha Kucha February 21st

10 Feb

Pecha whata? Pecha Kucha is a world wide organization that has been expanding the minds and interests of the citizens of Columbus for over five years. Topics range from what is cool about our city, to eating local, going green or anything a person has a passion for and can place key concepts on twenty slides.

The Food Fort has worked in partnership with Pecha Kucha since 2011 helping to source food for the event. This time around, we are taking some of our kitchen members inside the Gateway Film Center to add great food to beer and concesssions at the theater. The menu will include:

Bleu & Fig Catering:
Brown Sugar Thick Cut Candied Bacon
Red Pepper Flake Kale Chips

Destination Donuts:
Maple Sausage
Blackberry Sage
Lemon Thyme
Thai Peanut

Dinner Rescue Crew:
Mini Mexican Calzones with Taco Sauce (vegetarian)

Brown Sugar Bologna, Kettle Chip and Mustard Aioli Sandwich

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich with Blue Cheese Slaw

Treats 4 Everyone
•Two-hearted Ale with Vanilla Buttercream
•Young’s Double Chocolate Stout with Chocolate Buttercream
•Gluten-free Lime with Cardamom Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Cookie Sandwiches
•Loaded Chocolate with German Chocolate Filling
•Snickerdoodle with Cinnamon Buttercream
•Gluten-free Pistachio with Rosewater Buttercream

To learn more about Pecha Kucha, check out their Facebook page. Rumor has it that attendees will be able to see a movie for free after Pecha Kucha concludes. The only condunrum with the event is trying to figure out how to pronounce it: Pecha-Ah Kuch-Ah? Pee Cha Ka Cha? Peach_A Kucha……, it is safest just to say PK.

You can get a sense of PK February 2012 from our Facebook Album.


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