By DAN ULLOA
Jessie Villars is a testament to the healing power of cannabis and the industry’s ability to pay it forward to those suffering.
“I started as a patient in Medical Marijuana for five years, there have been many benefits. I started making my own edibles and people liked it. And then I got involved in a store,” Villars said regarding her own experience.
Villars now has a CBD catering business called Baked by the River with her boyfriend Cord Schlovohm which specializes in infused desserts as CBD Bakers including a wide variety of cakes, cookies, pies, pastries, and muffins. She herself is a Medical Marijuana patient and lives in Lambertville.
She is planning to get into cannabis infusion when the market becomes legal.
Villars often uses coconut oil, olive oil, and butter to make meals for patients, a CBD dinner, or a dessert, which is her specialty.
As a CBD Baker, she said she likes three-tier lemon coconut cake the best along with devil’s food chocolate cake with peanut butter mousse filling and chocolate ganache.
“I’ve always loved baking, as a coping mechanism, it’s been incredibly beneficial,” Villars said. She noted that under the law, she cannot make adult-use edibles. She does, however, make medical marijuana infusion tutorials and baked edibles for patients using their prescription mixed into coconut, butter or olive oil. Coconut is best when baking strong THC edibles because it has a high saturated fat content and absorbs more than butter.
Villars is sensitive to those with dietary restrictions, saying “we work with Gluten-Free, sugar-free, pescatarian, vegetarian and vegan cookies.” She added that she uses rice flour, almond flour gluten-free alternatives, and have celiac disease.
Jessie and Cord
They have been together four years and work together as well as CBD Bakers at Baked By The River.
Villars said they work well together because she has a mild disability so heavy lifting and chopping are more difficult for her.
“We’ love it. Unless I leave dirty dishes in the sinks but there’s edibles so it’s all good in the end,” she joked.
When they met, “We were both opioid addicts and getting sober at the same time… so we were the only two trying to stay away, clean on our own terms and we helped each other in that first year.”
“It was a perfect time to find each other because we needed to lean on each other and Medical Marijuana prescription to stay clean,” she noted.
Villars and Schlovohm moved from Chatham to Lambertville two years ago to a pace near the Delaware River on whose banks the town sits. Villars said they have fallen in love with the area, having made strong connections in the local business community and often cross-promote. And that she buys chocolate local for her cakes and buy their CBD from a store in town.
They both work on Main Street in New Hope, Pa across the river from Lambertville. Together the two towns are a lovely center of a regional arts community that prides itself on diversity. She added the weekends in the area are very busy as a recognition of it as a great tourist area with an active nightlife.
Villars believes that edibles are the healthiest method of ingestion, especially for those seeking to avoid inhaling smoke.
“I’d like to work with medicine dispensaries to get referrals for alternative options for medicine.
Villars recently did her first presentation as a CBD Baker at North of Normal and is planning to do more on CBD education courses since the demand for it is so high. She is especially interested in treating specific ailments such as cancer with cannabis and making topical creams.