A little more than a decade ago, Eddie Vallery ’11 was majoring in physics in pursuit of an engineering career while also wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks as a record-setting defensive end for the Wittenberg football team. Today, he carries trays of cupcakes through a quaintly decorated shop.
The path to success selling baked goods and designer coffee drinks may have been somewhat unlikely, but Vallery is right where he belongs. Business at Vallery Farmhouse Bakery in his hometown of London, Ohio, is booming.
Chalk one up to the power of a Wittenberg education that provides a range of experiences that prepare students to make a life, not just a living.
“Over the last two years since we’ve moved into the new spot, the bakery has become a really special place for us to build something for our community,” said Vallery, one of the most decorated players in Wittenberg football history.
Vallery Farmhouse Bakery opened in 2017 and moved to its current location in 2020, shortly after the initial pandemic restrictions made a drive-thru window a necessity. Vallery, who previously worked on his family’s farm and in agricultural construction after graduating from Wittenberg, runs the business with his wife Victoria, whom he first met when they were both students at Madison Plains Middle School.
The two-time All-American football player handles many of the baking duties, while Victoria shows an artist’s deft touch as she decorates the tasty treats that have become signature items of Vallery Farmhouse Bakery. Her talents made the vision of a bakery business a reality after the desserts she made for friends and family became so popular.
The “About” section of the Vallery Farmhouse Bakery website features a family photo, including the couple’s two children, accompanied by a succinct statement that sums up the family’s path to business success: “Started as a hobby, now we’re here.”
“When we started the bakery, it got busy really fast because Victoria is good at what she does,” Vallery told the Springfield News-Sun in an article published in 2021. “It caught on pretty fast, enough to the point where she couldn’t do it alone, and I decided to go all in with her.”
Vallery’s success at Wittenberg can be partially attributed to Victoria as well. He said he went through “all of those freshman feelings” in the first few weeks on campus, but she was among those who encouraged him to stick with his academic and athletic plans.