The sweet smell of success. No, literally, when you walk into The Country Oven Bakery, owner, Ashlyn Nightengale and other employees are busy pulling hot cinnamon rolls from the ovens that fill the room with a sweet cloud of cinnamon and sugar.
Ashlyn grew up with flour on his hands. His father, Mark, is one of the founders and general manager of Heartland Mills in Marienthal. The mill processes several varieties of flour and other baking staples, which have become commonplace in Kansas grocery stores and are now shipped all around the world.
Ashlyn and his grandmother spent much of their time in the test kitchen of Heartland Mills performing quality control, baking and perfecting recipes. One year the duo decided to raise some chickens, not expecting the over abundance of eggs. But when life gave Ashlyn and his grandmother flour and eggs, they baked. Just like that, The Country Oven was born.
Ashlyn began selling egg noodles and cakes at local farmers markets. Soon demand grew, and so did his product line, adding breads and other pastries. He continued to work out of the test kitchen for several years, adding retail partners to sell their products daily.
In October 2016, The Country Oven and Heartland Mill opened a new facility, which includes a large high-end commercial kitchen and retail store. The current facility is in Marienthal, right off Highway 96 between Scott City and Leoti. In addition to selling the various products produced by the mill, The Country Oven offers fresh donuts, jams, breads, pastires and wedding cakes. With the extra space of the new facility, they now offer pre-made, frozen dinners and burritos.
If you can't stop in and say hello to Ashlyn and his team at the Marienthal location, The Country Oven offers products at several retail locations: Suzy B's in Scott City, Patrick Dugan's Coffee House in Garden City, and Leoti Foods in Leoti.
Outside of the retail locations, The Country Oven participated in Whimmeydiddle, an arts and crafts fair, which brought thousands of visitors to Scott City, and they will have a booth at the Peddlers Market Oct 26-27 at the Garden City Fairgrounds.
To contact The Country Oven, call 620-214-0933 or visit their Facebook page.