The Country Oven

Location: Projected summer 2016 opening at 904 E. U.S. Highway 96, Marienthal

Phone: (620) 214-0933

MARIENTHAL — Ashlyn Nightengale is no stranger to baking from scratch, including the process of growing wheat and milling.

His new bakery and Heartland Mills office building is under construction in Marienthal and is projected to open this summer. The new bakery will include a retail store. Heartland Mill, an Organic Grain Processing Plant and Flour Mill, which is a farmer owned corporation, will offer a full line of their products in The Country Oven retail store.

The mill is owned and operated by Mark and Barbara Nightengale, Ashlyn’s parents. The mill started in the family’s home basement in 1983.

The Country Oven has been in its current location for about 15 years. Nightengale began working there when he was about 12, he said.

He uses methods first started by his great-grandfather, who immigrated to the United States from Ukraine.

Nightengale said The Country Oven first opened Jan 21, 1998. He began by assisting his grandmother with baking. Ashlyn currently offers products daily at his bakery in Marienthal, Suzy B’s Flowers at 901 W. Fifth in Scott City, and Heritage Meats, 402 Broadway St., in Leoti.

The new bakery, which is projected to open later in the summer, features equipment from different states and countries, including New York, Germany, Italy and Taiwan.

Nightengale will use an 8,000-pound oven that was sent from New York. His pasta machine was made in Italy. A commercial gas stove is from an old elementary school cafeteria from Leoti.

He is taking a family tradition and his business full speed ahead into the future.

Nightengale currently sells a wide variety of baked items from pies, cookies, breads, pastries and bierocks. He tries to keep his supply purchases local.

“We believe in helping out locally, so we try to purchase many of our supplies in our local communities and state," he said. "All of our products are made with combination Heartland Mill organic flours and others."

For Nightengale, the best part of baking is pleasing customers, expanding a family business and keeping tradition alive.

“Everything is made with love, care and quality ingredients,” he said.

Suzanne Beaver, owner of Suzy B’s Flowers & More, Scott City, markets Nightengale’s products in her shop. She also has been a longstanding customer of The Country Oven.

“He does a great job. He makes good, homemade products, and we know where the ingredients come from,” she said.

Beaver said she often grabs bread, rolls or a pie for family functions.

“We’ve had his cakes, breads, rolls and more. We always grab something for the family," she said. "He makes great products. Everyone loves them."