The baker & her professor

June 2023

Rose Valigrosky celebrated her 93rd birthday on June 1st, the month designated as Seniors Month. Rose will probably mark her day enjoying a big slice of birthday cake created by her granddaughter, Jacqueline Johns, pastry chef and owner of Uncommon Baked Goods at Goods & Co.

Growing up, Jacquie learned to bake at her Nana’s side. “She’s the reason I love to bake!”, said Jacquie. That love of baking led Jacquie to study at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California, followed by years of working as a pastry chef in resorts, bakeries and fine restaurants around the world. Settling back in Thunder Bay during the pandemic, Jacquie started selling cookie boxes from home, then took the plunge to design and open her bakery.

Jacquie’s bakery showcases a modern twist on French pastries. A favourite in my house, and of her many customers, is the pierogi bun. “The pierogi bun is a homage to my Nan,” said Jacquie. “I grew up helping her bake a similar bun filled with potato and cheese.”

During Seniors Month and throughout the year, take a lesson from Rose Valigrosky and Jacquie Johns: Enjoy an hour or two to savour time and treats together! There’s nothing sweeter than a cookie and a conversation with someone you love.

Nancy Angus is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Bayview. Contact her at

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