Kelsea explores wild flavors at punk rock cottage bakery

July 25, 2023

Kelsea Pernsteiner quit her job on a whim to pursue her passion — exploring wild flavors through her “punk rock” cottage bakery, Eat The Rich.

“I wanted a logo that set me apart and firmly said, I’m here to do things differently and boldly,” she said. “When the timing felt right, I went for it.”

We recently caught up with Kelsea to learn more about her business and her entrepreneur journey.

Introduce yourself — who are you and what is your company?

Eat The Rich is a punk rock cottage bakery hidden away in the suburbs of Dayton, Ohio. We specialize in creative gourmet flavors and cater to allergies and dietary restrictions. We focus on high quality ingredients, real flavors with imaginative combinations, and community involvement. You can find us popping up at events all around Dayton or in the kitchen baking up custom orders.

How did your company start?

I decided to leave my kitchen job on a whim to focus on creating wild flavors with ingredients and business practices I believed in.  I read a wonderful interview from Dayton’s own incredible Bootleg Bagels and I thought, “Yes! How punk rock is that!?” It inspired me to go the cottage bakery route, and the rest is history.

Why this idea?

I wanted something that showcased who I am and what I do. So I wanted a logo that set me apart and firmly said, “I’m here to do things differently and boldly.” I’d had the name and logo in my head for years. When the timing felt right, I went for it. I don’t want to be white noise in a sea of so many talented bakers in the area.

Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?

It’s one of the several things I always found myself going back to. In third grade, I wrote that I wanted to have a bakery/cafe and I would give kids and homeless people free goodies. I’m proud to say that I often do just that, and little Kelsea would be psyched.

The Launch Dayton community values are: 1. Be Bold 2. All Are Welcome 3. People First 4. Give First 5. Remove Barriers. How do you embody one or more of these values?

I hold all of those values very near and dear. I’m here to kick down doors and let people in. And I want to make incredible flavors accessible to the people regardless of class, race, identity etc. I proudly donate to great causes and often have giveaways or hand out free goods just to share the love. I believe in treating all people right and justly regardless of positions of power or anything else.

What identities or life experiences do you bring to entrepreneurship that helped prepare you for this lifestyle?

I’ve had an absolutely wild life filled with too many experiences to fit here, and that’s what I bring. I’ve been so many things and have occupied so many different spaces. It taught me a lot of empathy and compassion for people.

What is the biggest barrier you’ve faced on your entrepreneur journey?

Finding reasonably priced business spaces to open a brick and mortar. There are a lot of spaces investors are just sitting on, creating artificial scarcity and driving prices higher than what’s fair.

Why do you love what you do?

Creating and giving unto people are my favorite things in the world. To have my passions so warmly and widely received is a blessing I cannot possibly express fully.

What advice would you offer fellow or aspiring entrepreneurs?

It doesn’t matter if you’re afraid. Do it. You’ll always wonder what if, might as well find out.

Anything we didn’t ask that you’d like us to include?

I love Dayton. Its sense of community and pride are like no other. I’ve lived all over this country, and I never doubted for a moment that I was coming back home as soon as I could. There’s a huge culture of support and love for all here that I just can’t get enough of.

Stay tuned with Kelsea and her latest pop-up schedule on IG at @EatTheRich.