Charlotte chef creates ‘thoughtful’ comfort food

CHARLOTTE — During the pandemic, chef Mary Jayne Wilson set out to create a business centered on using local, farm-fresh ingredients. She started Thoughtful Baking Co. and focused on comfort foods such as pot pies, quiches, and desserts.

But Wilson is not baking your average pot pie or quiche.

“I think a lot of people are used to the freezer section of the grocery store, so this is like an elevated version of that, with fresh local ingredients,” she said.

“We make everything from scratch. We incorporate local North Carolina milled flour,” she added.

Crafting creations in the kitchen is something Wilson has been doing most of her life.

Wilson was in the first graduating class from Johnson & Wales University’s Charlotte campus. Then she spent nine years as the executive chef and director of operations at Amelie’s French Bakery and Café.

“I was the kid at school who wanted to bring cupcakes for every birthday party. I’ve always loved food and growing up in North Carolina, there was always so much produce,” she said.

These days, you can find Wilson and her team at Farmers’ Markets across the Charlotte area — a place she feels is having a sort of renaissance.

“A lot of people are recognizing with supply chain issues and just health and overall wellness, local food is better, it’s healthier, it’s better for the planet,” she said.

“Everyone at the Farmers’ Market cares about where their food comes from. They’re very supportive, very kind,” she said. “It’s been a really great community to be a part of.”

You can find Thoughtful Baking Co. on Saturdays at the Regional Farmers Market at 1801 Yorkmont Road, Uptown Farmers Market at 300 S. Davidson St., Matthews Farmers Market at 188 N. Trade St., South End Market at 2000 South Blvd., and Davidson Farmers Market at 120 S. Main St.

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