Featured photo: Regina “Gee” Burcham poses inside of her new business, Elderflour Baking Co. in Mocksville. (photo courtesy of Jerry Cooper)

“This building reminds me of my childhood with my grandfather. I want to make it that place for someone else,” explains Regina “Gee” Burcham, the owner of Elderflour Baking Co., during the grand opening of their brand new brick-and-mortar location in Mocksville.

While the business has been around for three years, it wasn’t easy getting to this point.

“When Cobblestone [Farmers’ Market] reached out to me and asked if I would ever want to vend at the market, it was an immediate ‘yes,’” Burcham says. “Last year was my first full season at the farmers’ market, and I loved every second of it. The energy, the customers, the other vendors, the live music, my heart has never felt so much joy!” 

Burchamfelt like she would be more than happy doing this forever.

But then Burcham’s inspiration and role model, Cheryl Day, who co-founded Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice, partnered with Heinz to award Black Kitchen Initiative grants. Burcham applied, knowing it was a highly competitive pool of applicants, and won the award in 2023. This helped her set up the brick-and-mortar location she has today.

Regina “Gee” Burcham poses outside of her new business, Elderflour Baking Co. in Mocksville. (photo courtesy of Jerry Cooper)

This was not without its hitches though. The day before it was meant to open initially in March, Burcham found out that the building wasn’t properly zoned for Elderflour.

After attending numerous city meetings, making her case to city planners and commissioners, and filing a lot of paperwork to meet all the zoning policy requirements, she now finally has the chance to open the shop up for business.

In terms of atmosphere, Burcham says she wanted it to “look and feel like my home.”

“My home is full of colorful things that don’t necessarily go together,” she explains. “And my partner loves plants, so our house is filled with them. You really can’t look at plants or a bouquet of flowers and be in a bad mood.”

The floral couch that is asking to be sat in, the welcoming, dried-flower arrangements on the wall, and the dark hardwood floors make the space feel like someone’s living room. 

Elderflour Baking Co. in Mocksville. (photo courtesy of Jerry Cooper)

“Doing this place up has been a family affair too,” Burcham explains. “My grandpa redid the floors for me; my dad built my counter. This was a hands-on family project.”

And just as the Mocksville community has warmly welcomed her to the city, she wants to welcome customers to Elderflour to create memories, the same way she did when visiting little country general stores with her grandfather.

“I wanted this to be a communal space,” she says. “You can sit down, have a good time, eat some good food, and share laughs together; I want this space to be a core memory for someone’s child.” 

Gee’s style of baking matches the vibe of the space she has created.

“I don’t want it to be too neat or too perfect,” she says. “I want to be everyone’s grandma. My grandma makes apple pie for every holiday or family gathering, and it’s what I like after a tough day.”

Elderflour Baking Co. in Mocksville. (photo courtesy of Jerry Cooper)

Inspired by her, Burcham now bakes various comfort foods for those who visit her shop; she will serve cakes, pies, cookies, biscuits and more. Lately, she has been making a dandelion jelly, and loves creating new items with seasonal and foraged flowers and fruits. 

What drew Burcham to baking specifically is that “baked goods are always present when there’s a significant moment in your life,” she says. “If you’re getting married, celebrating an anniversary or a birthday, graduating high school or college – you celebrate that with a baked good.” And Burcham is excited to be a part of people’s lives in that way.

For one family, she baked cakes for the couple’s wedding, both partners’ birthdays, the births of all three of their children, and several family holidays.

“Baking has allowed me to meet some phenomenal people, hear their stories and see their perspectives on things, and broadened my horizons so much,” she says. “It sounds dramatic to say that cakes, cookies, and pies have changed my worldview, but it really has.”

Visit Elderflour Baking Co. at 806 N Main St. in Mocksville. Learn more on their website at elderflourbakingcompany.com and on their Instagram at @elderflourbakingco.

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