Inside Columbia


Wishflour Bakery Creates A Sweet Narrative All Its Own

By Jordan Durham
dining out wishflour

Photos by L.G. Patterson

Wishflour Bakery Owner Marcey Mertens wants you to defy the traditional narrative, but only if it makes you happy. She followed what she sees as the traditional narrative for women, which to her means “graduate, go to college, find a husband, get married, buy a house, have kids, work a nine to five job, then retire.” That is, until after ticking off all but the final box, she decided that it wasn’t for her.

This is how Wishflour Bakery started.

Mertens has been baking for as long as she can remember — her first creation being the Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe on the back of the can. When her son and daughter started school, she was ready with first day cookies; she had pancakes and waffles for her son’s team after early morning Saturday practices; she made an abundance of cupcakes for her daughter’s musicals. She was that mom. So, once her children were out of school, opening Wishflour to feed the community and to be her creative outlet made sense.

dining out wishflour“Food is really an interesting thing,” Mertens says. “It’s a great equalizer. It’s a great builder.”

Wishflour specializes in elevating the basics. For the bakery’s pop-ups or pre- orders, a chocolate crinkle cookie might turn into an espresso peppermint cookie. A snickerdoodle cookie might have a buttercream eggnog swirl of icing on top. Her chocolate cakes now include cold brew coffee.

For this year’s NFL championship games and Super Bowl, Mertens created a sweets bracket and made a sweet treat for each team based on their city’s local favorites, having them go head to head. The Kansas City Jack Stack BBQ Carrot Cake took on the San Francisco Banana Tart on Feb. 11 with the carrot cake taking home the trophy.

Wishflour Bakery moved into the North Village Arts District in May 2022, however Mertens was able to fully make the space hers in June 2023. She now only accepts pre-orders with First Fridays being the only time she opens her shop for grab and go. These nights, she not only sells the sweets she’s made, but meals as well. Past meals have included BLT salads, loaded brisket wraps, chicken noodle soup, among others.

Mertens sees her skills and passion in baking as a vessel for spreading positivity. Much like her beloved dandelion, after which Wishflour was named. “It’s about being in the community with people, meeting people,” Mertens says. “Yes, I make things, but it’s about my community. I’m like the mom in the neighborhood. We’re all so different. We all have different faiths. We all have different colors. Everybody has a little bit of a different dream. But, it’s the coolest collective.”

When visiting Wishflour Bakery, the elongated space is organized, with medium to large baking appliances, racks and ovens at every turn. Her family and friends helped her dream come together in giving many, if not most, items found in her kitchen. Mertens’ niece made the logo for the business. All of this help she calls a “collective of community” who made her dream develop into the bakery it is today.

She also has plans for Wishflour beyond custom orders and pop-ups. Wholesale for her sweet treats is on the horizon, with some already located at Fretboard and at Fireside Bakes and Brews locations in Missouri. Soon she will be adding baking classes as well. A podcast titled, “The Dead Mothers Club,” and a book are in her future too.

“The Dead Mothers Club” might be a startling name to some, yet she sees it as a reality of not having a mother since she was young. So, Mertens wants to discuss everything she’s learned and done because of her mother death. “We saw what was important so early on. It definitely leads how I live.”

Mertens tries each day to make the world a better and safer place. She sees this as her narrative, Wishflour and its delicious treats, allowing her to do so. Plus, she says, “It’s fun to make the world a better place with a cookie.”

Wishflour Bakery is available by pre- orders and occasional pop-up events at her kitchen, located at 1020 Artist Alley. For more information, visit the bakery’s website at

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