Women Making A Difference in Our Community, Chelsey Poling’s Journey from California to Bourbon Country to Owner of Home Cafe & Marketplace.

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By Admin, BuyLocalBG.com, BuyLocalBg@gmail.com/
Monday, June 13th, 2016 1
:00 PM CST

One of the more beloved restaurants in Bowling Green is Home Cafe and Marketplace. If you follow our instagram or snapchat you probably see us snapping photos of the plate. The reason those plates look so good is because of the love and care each menu item has in it from the two Owners of this restaurant, Chelsey and her husband, Josh Poling.

Over 70% of our readers are women but less than half of Kentucky owned business are owned by women. So, we’re going to talk with business owners to help promote and support local women-owned Stores, Practices and Companies. We start with this interview we did with Chelsey Poling:

BLBG: Give us a little background, who are you? Where do you come from and what affect did it have on choosing your profession?

CP: My name is Chelsey Poling, owner of Home Cafe and Marketplace. I am originally from Santa Barbara, California, but my family has lived in the heart of bourbon country, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky since I was in second grade. My grandmother owned a restaurant when I was in high school and that is what really got me started thinking that I wanted a career in cooking.

BLBG: What is your favorite memory of cooking outside the restaurant (growing up or recent)? What about your favorite memory of being a professional chef?

CP: One of my favorite memories is learning to make banana bread from my mom. I started out just watching her do it and then I slowly was given parts that I could help with. It started with just mashing the bananas, then I learned how to measure the ingredients for her. Eventually I was allowed to do it all while she watched. As a kid I was so proud of the day I could do it all from start to finish without her help or guidance. One of my favorite memories from my professional career is Oktoberfest. Every year it is more and more fun! There is something about the chaos and confusion and everyone working together all day that is so awesome. The event is something we are very proud of and look forward to every September.

BLBG: Home Cafe has taken a twist on many dishes, what style of cuisine is your favorite and what is your perfect meal?

CP: My favorite style of cuisine to cook is definitely Mexican! Being from southern California a lot of the family meals I remember having as a kid involved either going out for Mexican food or my mom and grandma cooking some form of it. My perfect meal has to include tortillas! Recently I visited my mom for not even 24 hours and she cooked all of my favorite things, homemade taquitos, green chili enchiladas and cheese stuff (this is the PG version of what we call it, it is a cheese and green chili casserole), and no bake cookies. It was the most soul satisfying meal I have had in a long time.

BLBG: Who are your influences in life and cooking?

CP: One of my biggest influences in life and in cooking is my husband Josh. No matter what we are doing or cooking he makes sure it is the best version of it. Sometimes when he doesn’t know how to make something he spends weeks reading everything he can find about it. He is also incredibly passionate. Anyone who knows him can tell you that Josh can talk for days about 3 things…food, college football (mainly West Virginia), and professional wrestling. Some of my celebrity influences are Emeril, Rick Bayless, and Michael Symon.

BLBG: Being a business owner is scary to many people. You had a dream and you took the leap, what is your advice to young women wanting to own their own business?

CP: Being a business owner is terrifying! My advice to any young women that want to start their own business is to research and learn everything you can about what you are passionate about. Also I suggest going into business doing something you are very passionate about, because you will be around it all day everyday. I would also suggest that you surround yourself with people who are equally passionate in what they are good at. You won’t be able to do everything, believe me I have tried, so having people around that know how to do things you don’t is incredibly helpful.

BLBG: What is the one thing you would suggest learning before opening a business you wish you had taken more time to learn about?

CP: One thing I wish I would have learned more about before opening Home Cafe is how to do more of the paperwork and business side of things. Thankfully Josh and his dad are good at those things.

BLBG: What has been your favorite of Bowling Green’s local ingredients you have used?

CP: Right now my favorite local ingredient is asparagus. Every year when it comes in I think I eat more than we sell, but it is just so delicious. I am also a big fan of watermelon when it is in season. I have a major sweet tooth and the watermelons we can get here in Bowling Green hit the spot everytime.

BLBG: Home is known so much for their specials. What is your favorite menu item currently?

CP: My favorite menu item right now is the smoked pastrami reuben. I had actually never had a reuben until this version came on the menu, but now I can’t get enough. Sometimes on Saturday mornings I even eat it for breakfast. We make the pastrami, the sauerkraut and the 1000 island dressing. It doesn’t get any better!

BLBG: You and your husband and fellow chef Josh Poling are avid travelers. Where is your favorite place to travel? What city in your travels had the best food?

CP: Everyone that knows me knows that my favorite place to travel is to Disney, but the food there is just short of awful. My favorite food place to visit is either Texas or Atlanta, Georgia. I LOVE all things mexican food as well as all things bbq’d so Texas is perfect for me. Atlanta has some spectacular restaurants. My favorites are Gunshow, Woodfire Grill and Homegrown. I also love when we drive to Atlanta because we get to stop at The Cheesesteak Factory. It is one of the best cheesesteaks I have ever had, it just happens to be inside a gas station.

BLBG: What do you see in the future for Home Cafe and Marketplace the next 5 years?

CP: The goal for Home Cafe over the next 5 years is to use more local ingredients and hopefully to continue to change and evolve to what we feel Bowling Green needs. We never want people to get tired of us and right now I feel like we are doing a good job of coming up with new and exciting things. If we can continue down that path I will be very happy.

We hope you will go support this female owned and fantastic restaurant located here in Bowling Green. We also want to hear from you about other female owned businesses in Southern Kentucky. If you are interested in keeping updated with what they have planned ahead fan them on facebook, or keep tuned in here!

Such lovely baked goodness from Home Cafe!
Such lovely baked goodness from Home Cafe!

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