Cabin Fever Confections began as a small, solo-operated baking business out of Fairbanks, Alaska. The slogan, “GOURMET COOKIES AND CANDY WITH A CONSCIENCE,” says it all. The accompanying pledge offered to her customers, takes it farther: “I use only hormone-free dairy, vegetarian-fed cage free eggs, unbleached, unprocessed flours, sugars, organic corn syrups, and other high-quality ingredients; for your health, and that of our planet.” Since she first began as a vendor at the Tanana Valley Farmers Market in 2017, Fairbanks–and its diversity of residents and tourists during the summer months–was quite receptive to her ethical, social, and nutritional pledge; and to her “gourmet” sense of flavor alchemy. Plus, she just bakes a damn good cookie!
Marty Watson, who has worked in professional kitchens off and on over the last 25 years, dreamt up the concept during the long, cold, dark winter months of 2016. With a mid-west work ethic, artistic drive, and her obsessive attention to detail, starting her own business was the only way to practice and develop her knowledge for baking and candy-making in a small, isolated city like Fairbanks. Living in a dry cabin in the Arctic made it more challenging; but out of challenges arise resourceful solutions. What better way to begin a small business, than to tackle it MaGyver-style? Cabin Fever Confections was a way for one self-taught, but determined baker to pursue her passion for food and flavor on her own terms, and you could find Marty selling her fancy-pants sweets down at the Tanana Valley Farmer’s Market during the summers of 2017 and ’18, on Saturdays, 9 am to 4 pm; and Wednesdays, 11 am to 4 pm.
in late August, 2018, Marty entered a new chapter in her life. Nearly 20 years after leaving home, she left her cozy cabin, and uprooted her budding business in order to travel back to her hometown in Dayton, Ohio. Family has a way of bringing us back. After a long, but beautiful drive; spanning over 5,000 miles of remote Canadian and U.S. highways, she settled in quickly. In early September, Marty took on full-time employment as a line cook/pastry chef at the unique upscale diner, Corner Kitchen, in the trendy Oregon District in downtown Dayton. Chef/owner, Jack Skilliter and his wife, Natalie, run a small farm-to-table restaurant with creative, seasonal menus. In this creatively-supportive, familial environment, Marty was encouraged to contribute to new menu planning, as well as run weekly dessert specials. You should definitely come try Jack and Natalie’s outstanding menus, featuring fabulous house-made daily food/drink specials; using locally-raised meats and produce! Don’t forget to save room for one of Marty’s dessert specials, or take it home in an environmentally-conscious to-go box!!
After another winter spent developing new ideas and tweaking recipes in her own kitchen, Marty has expanded her selection to include some specialty cakes and chocolates! Now, Cabin Fever Confections has found a new part-time home at 2nd Street Market in the revitalized area Soon–every Sunday (and some Fridays and Saturdays, as available spots open up), from 11 am to 3 pm, since June 1st, 2019. Now, Ohioans can sample her wares! Her motto still stands, and she strives to contribute to her new local community of small, conscientious businesses and farmers. Ohio is embracing this growing farm-to-table way of local commerce, and there is a really diverse selection of local ingredients to choose from. For now, her special brand of unique, quality desserts can only be enjoyed by those who make their way to the 2nd Street Market, but developments are in the works that will allow for out-of-state shipping. Stay tuned for further news!