SANTA FE CHICKEN SALAD … Angie Pelland paused a moment to smile during the interview, as she was busily making a full-sized salad and some single serving protein bowls. They all looked delicious and would put a smile on any customer’s face, and make their tastebuds happy. Angie owns and operates Willow Lane Kitchen just south of Stryker, Ohio. (PHOTOS BY REBECCA MILLER, STAFF)
By: Rebecca Miller
Just south of Stryker, Ohio on Williams County Road C, is a delightful little professional kitchen designed and used by a very talented lady.
Angie Pelland, who spent over 20 years in food service at the Bryan Hospital, ending her time as the Kitchen Manager, said that she learned a lot while there from the late Pauline Weiner.
It was a good experience, but she was ready for a change and in June or July of 2021 she left and worked for a year at Four County in the kitchen, as well as getting started with baking to sell from her home kitchen.
She got her Level 1 license for what is called “Cottage Baking”, which allows the baker to work from a regular kitchen, and began selling cakes, cookies and breads. (Licenses are available through the county health department.)
Her new endeavor is named Willow Lane Kitchen and is located at the end of a long lane which also has a home where her aunt and uncle live near CR C, a house they built for her mom from an historical building on the land, and the family home where she and her husband live.
There is a lovely pond and the whole lane is a treat for those who love the beauty of the outdoors. Angie was born in August of 1974 to Cindy Crass and Mike Barlow.
She graduated from Stryker High School in 1993 and married Ray Pelland in 2006, who is a graduate of Fairview.
They met through mutual friends. Ray and Angie have three grown children and their first grandchild on the way. Living on the family farm is very special for Angie.
She shared that it was her grandparents’ farm and they left it to her mom. When she and Ray got married, they thought about building a new home for themselves on the lane, but the idea surfaced about building a smaller house for her mom, Cindy, and then they would live in the homestead.
The idea worked well and the little building on the land that her grandfather, who was a sheriff at one point, had used for groups to meet for instructions when they were going out as a posse, was kept and built over.
They have fourteen acres of land as well as the farmland which one of her cousins, Scott Haye, farms.
Overall, it is a gorgeous setting and Willow Lane Kitchen is an excellent name for her endeavors.
Soon after leaving Four County and going full time at home, Angie decided that she wanted to expand and the hard work began for her husband, Ray, as they realized how much went into setting up a Level 3 licensed work space.
Ray works full-time at Spanglers as the HVAC tech, but threw himself into getting this done for his wife.
SURROUNDED BY BEAUTY … Willow Lane is a lovely little drive of Williams County Road C, including this delightful view on the way to the end of the lane, where Willow Lane Kitchen is situated.
By: Rebecca Miller
During the process, they renovated a corner of their pole barn into a small professional kitchen, had to put in a new and deeper well for water needs, as well as a separate septic tank, and a new utility pole with electrical wires to cover all the requirements of the kitchen.
Angie laughed and said that she was happy that their marriage survived that crazy year of physical labor and decision making, adding that she was too pushy to get it done quickly and wishes she had just trusted “God’s timing.”
This was all happening during the couple years of heavier COVID regulations, but she was still able to keep baking and meeting needs from her own kitchen.
Angie started cooking as a child with her grandmother. She especially loves to bake, but since she got her Level 3 license, which requires the kitchen separate from the home, she has started cooking meals and making salads as well.
“It took a full year to get the Level 3 license,” she said, “with many inspections and lots of work. It was a lot more than we expected.”
“It has been crazy and constant construction since we moved in. It is good to have family members that know what they are doing.”
Participation in a few of the Parlor 1861 Winter Farmers’ Markets that were held on Saturdays in Bryan this winter, helped “to get my name out there,” she said, adding “Brian and Kathy Davis have been a great help as they have advised us on food pricing and other things.
”I have enjoyed being a part of the Parlor 1861 events.” For those she did breads, cakes and cookies and even added some other desserts.
Now she has a website where customers in the area can order what they would like to purchase on Tuesdays, her delivery day.
She puts a new menu on her Facebook page every week, with prices, and they can order from that as well as the regular menu.
An example, which was the menu for the week of February 28th, included Taco lasagna ($24), Egg Roll in Bowl ($24), Mexican Quinoa ($8 for two cups), Protein Box ($8), Mediterranean Bowl ($9 single or $25 for full), Chicken Protein Bowl ($10 single), Monster Cookie Bites ($10 dozen), and Yogurt Parfait ($5).
She also has the regular menu for catering or orders which includes prices for veggie trays, fruit trays or bowls, charcuterie board, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, Rice Krispies treats, and specialty breads.
During the interview (on a Tuesday) she had a loaf of blueberry bread wrapped and sitting on the counter, which she had made with blueberries left from making fruit bowls for the afternoon delivery.
She was busily assembling protein boxes that looked fit for a king, as well as family sized Santa Fe Chicken Salad.
She works with ease in her new kitchen, moving about as she gathers what she needs.
It is obvious that baking and working with food is her passion and comes naturally to her.
Some other items she mentioned that she puts on the menu at times, were soups, entrees such as tuna noodle casserole, baked ravioli, lasagna roll ups, and enchiladas with rice (which she makes with her sister). “Casseroles go well, but the salads are the biggest seller,” she commented.
Willow Lane Kitchen does some catering, sometimes serving a luncheon party at a business or elsewhere, and on those weeks, Angie does not post a menu.
She makes her Tuesday deliveries in Williams County, some in Defiance, and has a meeting spot in Bryan where customers can drive up and get their food.
Once it has been received, they can either pay cash or with Venmo. If no one is home for the home deliveries, she does pretty much like door dash, leaving the food and sending a picture so the customer can then pay for it.
“I do a lot of baking on weekends,” she said. “This week I am making Cow Cookies for a birthday party with cookie cutters that Ray made on his 3-D Printer.”
“He bought it for a project that he and our son were doing, but it has been convenient for me as now he makes all my cookie cutters for me. That saves a lot of money.”
She tries to use Thursdays and Fridays to regroup and then starts over. She misses the social side of working in a large kitchen with others but gets to chat with customers when she does her delivers.
“I like to find out what they really need.” Her salads are all freshly made by her, with lettuce that she cuts and spins out, fruit that she slices, vinaigrette that she makes, and even humus she makes from scratch. “I like my food to be fresh for the customers.”
Next time you want some delicious food delivered to your home or at least brought to a drop spot for you, give Angie Pelland at Willow Lane Kitchen a call.
Her number is 419-212-3429 and email address is email@example.com .
Of course, you can just go straight to the Willow Lane Kitchen Facebook page and have fun there!
She likes a two-week notice, as she needs to purchase fresh supplies and make it just for you.
Rebecca may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org