Kassidy Nelson says she is living her dream after she opened the Ol Barn Bakery January 24 in Dry Fork. “Whenever I was in high school,” Nelson said, “I actually painted this saying on my wall my senior year of high school and it said, ‘Find what you like to do and you will never work a day in your life.’ When you find something, you love to do and do it every day, it’s not work.(Baking) has always been my stress reliever,” Nelson said. “My great-grandma whenever I was little, she always used to make biscuits and I kind of got it from her. She’d always send me home with peanut butter fudge and chocolate fudge and cookies and homemade chex mix. I remember staying at her house for vacation Bible school and we made a bunch of snacks. Was maybe six at the time. It’s a thing I’ve always enjoyed doing.”
Nelson, a former mortgage officer and Tucker County High School Graduate calls baking her “stress reliever,” though these days, she rarely has the time to be stressed. “It’s one of those things that I go to when I’m stressed,” Nelson said. “Now, I really don’t have time to be stressed. You wouldn’t imagine the relief you get from working bread dough. The tension that you have built up is gone kneading for so long. It’s your big stress ball.”
Nelson attributes her success to the support of her husband. “I had my what-ifs, but I’m one of those people who stress about stress before there’s stress to stress about,” Nelson said. “You know, what if this, what if that and I laid out all my options and my husband is like, ‘You know what, you haven’t even began.’ He’s like, ‘Just stop. Take it day by day, you’re going to be fine.’”
Nelson opened to what she called a crazy couple of first weeks. The hectic opening schedule led her to temporarily go from a five-day schedule to only being open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. She has since returned to a weekday schedule. “So, I opened. My first two weeks were a little crazy,” Nelson said. “It was a lot for me. I maybe got five hours of sleep in the five days I was open. I was here from 4 a.m.to about 12 a.m. every single day. I was selling out, I was wore out and my husband was like, you gotta take a break. Let’s just like open three days because you are tearing yourself down at this point and then we went to the Monday, Wednesday and Friday. But now I have routine a little better so I’ve reopened for the five days and so far it’s been good.”
Nelson said she does not have a set menu, but does reserve certain days for regular offerings as well as her usual fare. Mondays she makes Pepperoni Rolls, Wednesdays she bakes pastries, and Fridays she reserves for donuts. Nelson said she is in the planning stages of offering take and bake offerings, but as of now there is no definitive timeline as to when. “I’m definitely going to do it,” Nelson said. “I don’t know when I’m going to do it. I have big dreams; it just takes some time and money. I’ll work my way up there. I always want to do more. I’ve always been that person that is a go-getter. I always see that there is more to do, even though it adds more to my plate, I still want to do it.”
Nelson said she does all the baking by herself. “I like it when people come in and they are like, ‘You do all this yourself?’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah,’” Nelson said. “They are like, ‘You don’t have any help?’ and I’m like, ‘No.’ I don’t have a set menu. Everyone asks about a menu, but for me, I don’t like having a menu because I like changing things. I like doing new things, I don’t like having the same thing. I get bored. Now daily items, I typically have breads, cinnamon rolls, cookies and brownies, I do have my specialty days which are Monday, Wednesday and Friday.”
Nelson says even though she was born in Charleston and moved to Tucker County in middle school, Tucker County is home. “You couldn’t get me to go back to Charleston. I have the farm of my dreams and the business of my dreams,” Nelson said.
The Bakery is open weekdays. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays she is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.. She accepts special orders. The Ol Barn Bakery is located at 1934 Appalachian Highway, Dry Fork.