Chef Jessica Rachael Conover has worked in kitchens in far-flung places like Ireland—and Naperville.
After attending culinary school, Conover worked for her father in the kitchen at Kelley’s, the now-defunct restaurant in the iconic rail-car in Sandwich. Through time, she’s had a lot of ideas about what would make a great place to grab breakfast or lunch.
She’ll have her chance to implement some of those ideas as she opens Yorkville’s newest eatery, , in the former location at 101 W. Van Emmon St. She aims to expand the bakery to include a bistro and eventually a wine-and-cheese shop, as well.
“Throughout my career, I’ve learned that you have to be versatile in the kitchen,” Conover said.
While she tests that versatility, Conover has hired “a couple of lead bakers who understand Yorkville’s tastes.”
She personally has sampled dozens of coffees, searching for just the right bean to call her own for in-shop brewing and retail sale. She’s even been working with vintners in Oregon and California to find just the right wines to pair with the baked goods straight out of the ovens.
So what can you expect? What kind of place will Cobblestone be?
Like local stalwart tavern Bristol Tap is known far and wide for its burgers, Conover says Cobblestone will be “a bakery first, and that’s what you should think of it as.”
If one turns up for lunch, they’ll find sandwiches served on artisan breads baked fresh, in shop, that day. Upon entering the bakery, patrons will be greeted by glass cases neatly revealing some of the day’s offerings.
Where most eateries’ menus are static, Conover aims to give the menu a little shake-up every week or so, keeping the staples but rotating through a long list of possibly specials. The advance copy of the menu lists everything from cookies, cupcakes, muffins, and scones through fruit and meringue pies, petite cakes, parfaits, and the alliteratively appropriate Cobblestone Cobblers.
Lunches look to include such offerings as croissants, paninis, salads, and flatbreads.
Conover says she “really hopes people come and just try it out,” adding that she thinks people will be “happy with what they find.”
So when will the public be able to check out Cobblestone? The official opening will be 6 a.m. Friday. However, Conover suggested Patch report that there will be a soft-opening 6 a.m. Thursday.
“I can’t wait,” Conover said.