By Dawn Hatfield
GREENVILLE — One might think a quiet, stress-free retirement would be in order after five long decades of nursing, but then one would not be thinking of Linda Godown. In her golden years, Godown has taken on a new challenge as owner and operator of Momma G’s Bakery at 102 Birt Street in Greenville, across from the Darke County Fairgrounds (in the former home of Chicken Kitchen II).
Since its grand opening on Saturday, Aug. 6, Momma G’s has been serving tasty baked treats from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday. Offering a wide array of homemade donuts, cupcakes, muffins, cream puffs, brownies, pies, and birthday cakes (made to order), Godown strives to provide options for everyone who has a sweet tooth. There are many gluten-free options as well, which Godown has been perfecting over the course of a decade. She has even created her own gluten-free flour blend “that everybody seems to like.” Godown often starts with some favorite recipes and adapts them to make them better and often healthier. For instance, she substitutes applesauce for oil, maintaining the great flavor but increasing the health factor. Even her donuts are healthier than most, as they are sugar-free (but not the icing) and are baked rather than fried!
Momma G’s new breakfast menu, including made-from-scratch biscuits and gravy, a variety of breakfast sandwiches, and “Momma G’s bowl,” is available 6 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Godown is happy to have orders ready when customers call ahead at 937-459-4538. As posted on Facebook on Jan. 17, Godown wrote, “Front door parking to run in and get it. Adds to your daily step goal!!! LOL!! Have a wonderful blessed day!!!”
Although her professional career was in healthcare, Godown is no stranger to the kitchen. She explained when she was only about 10 years old, her father had a bad injury, which stopped him from working. Godown’s mother then entered the workforce and said if her daughter would cook, she’d clean up. “So, I started cooking when I was 10,” said Godown, “and found out I LOVE to bake. From then on, I’ve just always done it.”
Godown’s love of cooking and baking led her to offer catering for many years. Once retired, her family and friends encouraged her to follow her bakery dream. A good opportunity with a friend/building owner allowed Godown to see her dream materialize.
When asked if her family members are supportive of the new bakery, Godown responded, “Oh, yeah! My youngest son has a food truck, so I’ve helped him with that, and he’s the one who did all this [remodeling of the bakery]. He’s very handy with everything, just like my husband was.”
Not only did her sons support and assist her in starting the bakery, but they also had a hand in how it came to be called “Momma G’s.” Godown explained that her late husband had installed a full-size basketball court on their blacktop when their boys were young. Without the open gym options today, it wasn’t long before their court (and house) was the place to be. “We had a blacktop full of boys all the time,” Godown recalled. “If they were still there at supper time, I’d say, ‘Call your mom and dad if you want to stay [for supper].’ So they all started calling me ‘Momma G.’” One of the previous neighborhood “boys” was in on the bakery naming conversation one day and said, “That’s easy—call it Momma G’s!”
Godown explained her biggest challenge has been starting and building up the business during the time of COVID, which increased expenses. Today, the continued challenge is making sure people know she’s open for business. Godown said, “I have not had one single day, literally, since opening up that I haven’t had someone come in and say, ‘I didn’t even know you were here!’”
Future plans for Momma G’s may include expanded seating in the bakery as sit-in breakfast has become a popular option.
Follow Momma G’s Bakery on Facebook to keep up-to-date on news and the freshest homemade goodies available. Reach Daily Advocate Reporter Dawn Hatfield at [email protected] or 937-569-0066.