According to Drew Scott, owner of Scott’s Baked Goods, there are two approaches to the culinary field, “Some culinary professionals try to make an exceptional product, and trust that profit will follow; others focus on profitability, and consider it reflective of success. I prefer the interpersonal way. My interest is finding ways of making things that people find memorable.”
Drew’s love for delicious and responsibly sourced materials is at the heart of his growing business, “You have to respect your ingredients. The sampling process for selecting new ingredients is very time consuming – the right molasses, for example, was one of the hardest things to select, when we started, because many taste bitter, or even burnt. But when we finally found the right one, it was worth it.”
In addition to selecting only the tastiest, Drew guarantees his ingredients are sourced ethically and certified organic, which made Scott’s Baked Goods the first certified-organic bakery in the State of Missouri. For Drew, ethical sourcing is almost as hard as selecting for taste,
"Some things, obviously, we can’t get from the US – cocoa, cinnamon – but we try to acquire our ingredients as close-to-home as possible. At least fifty percent, by weight, of each of our products consists of ingredients grown in the US, including eggs from our fellow CFM vendor Share Life Farms, out of Marshall, Missouri. Gaining the certification was a challenge, but having it extends an instantly-recognizable guarantee to my customers that I operate in accordance with all of the extensive NOP principles. And, better yet, it shows that if a one-man operation, run by an ordinary guy, can obtain organic certification, then anyone can."
His products have always been free of many things: dairy; nuts; soy; white, bleached and refined sugars; hydrogenated and trans fats. But, since Scott’s became a vendor at the Columbia Farmers Market in 2017, Drew has taken the feedback of many customers to heart, and made his kitchen also free of corn, canola, artificial sweeteners, and cholesterol. “Some tweaks are easy, and some are quite difficult. But the bottom line is that I’m happy to do it, because the work that I do is an end unto itself.”
To get his cookies in the case on time for market, Drew gets up at 2:00am. He adheres to a pre-determined production schedule which requires measuring all of the ingredients first, and grinding all of the needed spices the same morning, before the baking begins. He cuts the actual baking as close as possible, while allowing time for the baked items to cool. “Because of their size, they can’t be transported oven-hot without breaking. But ideally, I like the most recent batches to still be warm when I arrive at the market.”
He tries to arrive as close to the bell as possible in order to guarantee the freshest cookie possible, “Made the same morning is the only way to go.”
Drew would argue, “Perhaps the most-important aspect of an ecologically responsible operation – arguably, the only aspect – is the minimization of waste.” Therefore, Scott’s operates as a no-waste business, meaning that he produces no garbage – not even food waste. He’s able to avoid waste by donating un-sold items, scrupulous recycling and composting, and not using disposable items in-house.”
In hopes of enticing curious kiddos into hustling their parents to buy one of his delicious cookies in the glass cookie case, Drew keeps his display at eye level for kids so they can point and select which cookie they would like to enjoy, “The best part of my job is serving a big cookie to a little kid. It warms my heart.”
There are several varieties of cookies and treats for big kids and little kids to select, “For the market, we bring the molasses cookies, the oatmeal raisin, the chocolate chip, and the double chocolate cookies. We’ll occasionally do brownies; we’re trying hard to bring back the cinnamon rolls that used to be a regular part of the lineup; and for the winter market we bring hot chocolate. Our hot chocolate is more velvety and decadent than what you’d expect from hot cocoa, because it’s actually made by melting chocolate into it. More-or-less by coincidence, it also happens to be the only gluten-free and vegan item that we currently offer.”
Scott enjoys the community of his fellow market vendors. “The cookies are as good as cash at the market,” he explains, “and I enjoy experiencing other vendors’ products, and – as I explained to a new vendor last week – the market is a great place to get a business off the ground, largely because there are so many vendors, and yet they form a sort of community. If you need help with something, as an up-and-comer, there’s always someone with the experience and willingness to help.”
Thanks to his beginnings at the market, what was once Drew’s hobby has now become a blossoming business. Drew is currently looking into a new space for the purposes of setting up a retail location, as well as an expansion of his organic purview to include a produce operation.
Whether you’re a big kid at heart or have little kids of your own, Drew invites you to stop by the glass case and see what’s available this week and every week at Scott’s Baked Goods.