Editor’s note: This is one story in a series about local businesses in the City of Fairborn. This feature puts a face to the names of those that have been part of the community for many years – some of those best-kept secrets.
FAIRBORN — Chantilly Cream Dessert Shop Cafe/Bakery is owned by Fairborn Resident Julie Jenschke, who opened the shop in 1992. The shop includes five employees who help her with the shop, along with Jenschke’s sister, Jennifer, who stepped in to help after their mother passed away, as Jenschke and her mom were the bakers when the business first started.
The shop was formerly called Midway Bakery, and was opened in 1947 by the Dodges. Bob Dodge and his wife Elizabeth took it over from his father, and retired in 1985.
“I always loved baking,” Jenschke said. “My dad built me a table when I was five-years-old so I could do baking.”
She helped her mom in the kitchen with what she called her “special cookies,” which are sugar cookies in different flavors and colors.
“The recipes in my shop come from my mom, grandmother and some people who bring in their family recipes when they can’t make them and ask if I can make it for them,” she said.
The shop offers birthday cakes – traditional ones with european flare. She makes a swan creme puff that’s popular in France for showers and special events.
“We are more than a bakery, we specialize in soups and sandwiches and coming up with our own fillings,” Jenschke said. “We came for dessert, but we stayed for lunch too.”
Chantilly’s hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, with lunch and dinner being served 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., 5 to 7 p.m. for Wednesday evening dinner, and 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday. The space is available for group events, bridal showers, red hats, tea parties, federal employee luncheons, office meetings and more; it can accommodate up to 40 customers with tables and chairs.
A special event requires a few days notice, depending on what the shop would need to prepare. Valentines Day offers reserve tables for a romantic candlelight dinner with a special menu. New Years Eve offers dinner 5 to 7 p.m. The shop also offers Christmas events in which children can have story time and hot chocolate with goodies.
The shop also carries a variety of teas, which are served the old-fashioned way with porcelain pot, tea cups and saucer. Desserts, such as pies, cakes and cookies, can be purchased by the slice or whole. Jenschke can provide for diabetics or customers with a gluten allergy as well.
She considers the pies to be her specialty, and lemon chess is the favorite. It has a history as an old colonial pie. So many years ago, people would have their milk and lemons turning, so to avoid wasting food they would use it to make pies. Their husbands would come home from work and ask, “what’s for dinner?” To which the wife would reply, “just pie.” With the accent from that time period, Americans came to call it “chess pie.” It goes anywhere and doesn’t require refrigeration.
Jenschke said that Former President George Bush Sr. loved the lemon chess pie, but Former President Bill Clinton ordered the lemon creme pie as he doesn’t like meringue, and Former President George W. Bush ordered the almond raspberry cake.
Jenschke laughs, as her desserts have traveled into the mouths of some very famous people all across America. She feels that guys like pies and offices like cakes. She makes and customizes her goodies with farmers fresh produces, cherries, raspberries, jellies and more. Her inventory changes due to seasonal produce.
She is supportive of Fairborn charities, such as the Fish Pantry and Mary Help Garden Produce, which she considers to be close to her heart as food is needed by people in town.
“Years ago I was closing up and saw this man with his kid walking outside in the winter cold, I felt impressed to ask them to come in,” she said.
She made them some hot cocoa, gave them something to eat and they thanked her and left.
“They didn’t ask for anything, he could have lost his job or had a death in the family or just fallen on hard times,” she said. “I was always brought up that sometimes you may have entertained angels unaware by doing a good deed.”
Ever since that event years ago, Jenschke has helped with the food pantry in Fairborn and said she sleeps very well at night doing what is right, especially relating to kids through charities.
“You can’t help everyone all of the time, but family values are important,” she said. “I try to give patrons a little piece of kindness and home cooking and a place to relax, if only for a moment.”
JoAnn Collins is a long-time Fairborn resident and guest writer for the Fairborn Daily Herald.