Edible Bozeman

Wildflour Bakery and Follow Yer’ Nose BBQ

If you’ve been to the Wildflour Bakery or Follow Yer’ Nose BBQ in the last 10 years, then you’ve met Taylor and Rebecca Henson. Rebecca is lean and tall; her fingers flash geometric stone rings as she shares how she and her husband ended up with a bakery and a barbecue joint. The timing was right and the couple’s strong work ethic was part of it, too.

The Wildflour Bakery and Follow Yer’ Nose BBQ help make up the few storefronts in Emigrant, just a heartbeat from the Yellowstone River on the way to the North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. They operate between April and October, in tandem with Yellowstone’s highest tourist season.

The Hensons manage selling food in a dynamic and improvisational style. I guess it has to be that way, given how busy they are baking and making barbecue. In addition to running the two eateries, the couple sells barbecue when the nearby Old Saloon hosts live music. They also operate a food truck in Gardiner known as the Gardiner Smoke Wagon and Taylor recently converted a 1955 Chevy truck into a catering rig.

Taylor Henson’s smoked meats and barbecue harken back to his Georgia roots.


Originally from Macon, Georgia, Taylor regularly broadcasts an amused smile on his face. While Taylor was growing up, his dad frequently grilled chicken or smoked pork for the family, using a barrel smoker he made. The meals drew a lively crowd of Taylor’s friends over for family dinners. Fourth of July celebrations were large gatherings of family and friends, with good food as the centerpiece. Taylor’s passion for creating delectable meat-n-three plates harkens back to his upbringing, and he’s used to bringing people together.

Rebecca grew up in Kansas City and spent family vacations in Gallatin Valley, visiting her dad’s side of the family. She says she never stopped thinking about Montana and between 2005 and 2007, Rebecca worked as a guide on the Yellowstone River. “When you get out here, you get the mountains in you,” she says. “You can’t go back.”

In 2011, Rebecca and Taylor met while guiding on the Deschutes River in Oregon. After a trip down the Grand Canyon, they arrived in Emigrant that same year, ready to put down roots. Rebecca’s first job after moving was baking at the Wildflour, having discovered her baking passion during two stints volunteering in Ecuador and Argentina for WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). Taylor got a job bartending in Livingston, and that summer the owner of the Wildflour let him set up a portable smoker once a week outside the bakery. In what the Hensons call a leap of faith, they decided to buy the Wildflour in September 2012 when the owner put it up for sale. They began construction for the barbecue shack that same year.

“It just felt right,” Rebecca says. “It just seemed like the right thing to do.”


The seasonal nature of Wildflour and Follow Yer’ Nose is embedded in the Hensons’ Montana life. Many jobs here are seasonal. Work ebbs and flows like the river.

On a typical summer day, patrons of Follow Yer’ Nose enjoy items from a rotating menu, seated at the joint’s rustic outdoor picnic tables where they can drink in the stunning Absaroka Mountains and the looming presence of Emigrant Peak. A chalkboard sign gives directions: “Family-style seating. Scooch on over and make a friend!”

At the bakery, patrons enjoy a selection of breakfast menu items, espresso, and fresh-baked goods like croissants or pain au chocolat. Rebecca loves making pie, but hopes you won’t ask her to make a cake—it’s not really her jam. Her style is utilitarian and one of her prized cookbooks is Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, which relies on simple recipes to create delicious food.

The Hensons are hands-on in their restaurants, working long days in the summer to make a living. Initially, both eateries were open six days a week, and Rebecca and Taylor had to work seven days to get everything done. Finding more balance as they’ve grown, they have reduced their schedule and have a bit more breathing room.

Last summer, in addition to baking, Rebecca worked the bakery counter—a change of pace she really enjoyed. She effuses a can-do attitude and notes that running their businesses requires improv skills. She says it helps to remember that winter will eventually arrive, and the manic pace of summer will subside.

Taylor recently shifted to a greater administrative role with Follow Yer’ Nose and he does the bookwork for both businesses. Th ursday through Sunday, he arrives at the shack around 7:30 a.m. to check in on the overnight meat smoking, check inventory, and plan for the day. He may also help with food prep and typically works the catering events. Last year, Follow Yer’ Nose smoked approximately 20,000 pounds of pork, all sourced from Montana Natural Pork, with hogs raised north of Helena and processed in Butte. Taylor and his employees are dialing in their recipe for pork belly and they plan to off er some creative dishes this season, including specialty sandwiches, Mexican-inspired dishes, beercheese pretzel rolls, and their version of the Vietnamese banh mi.


Operating two eateries comes with many challenges. But the Hensons create a positive work atmosphere and lean on emotional support from their family to help them thrive.

“I always say people work with me, they don’t work for me,” Rebecca says, adding that she’s motivated as an employer after experiencing negative micromanagement when she was as an employee. She wants to make room for her employees’ talents and encourages leadership from the staff . Th ese efforts pay off : The barbecue shack will see 95 percent of staff returning for the summer season—noteworthy, as the service industry continues to collectively experience worker shortages.

In addition to working closely with their employees, the Hensons also partner with their family. “Everyone saw we needed help,” Rebecca says about those fi rst years owning the businesses. Rebecca’s cousin and his wife helped get both businesses off the ground and Taylor’s brother has helped them grow the catering side of the operation.

Rebecca’s mom has worked at the bakery counter and her dad delivered the wholesale bread back when the eateries were operating year-round. Her parents live close by and Rebecca refers to their place as the “compound.” Now, they care for Rebecca and Taylor’s son, Hayden, most days in the on season.

While family has been an important part of both businesses, it’s come to take on a different meaning with the growth of Taylor and Rebecca’s nuclear family. Hayden is 2 years old and Rebecca is pregnant with a boy due in June. Time off during the winter season has become precious, giving the young family quality time together.

The Hensons anticipate another busy summer tourist season, including plenty of business from summer residents and full-timers. Wildfl our Bakery and Follow Yer’ Nose BBQ will be open Thursday through Sunday all summer long, with live music on Th ursday evenings. You can catch the Follow Yer’ Nose food truck on the last Th ursday of the month, May through September, in downtown Livingston near Katabatic Brewing.

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