Bella Russo, community education assistant for Franklin County Cooperative Extension, gets an answer to her question on Tuesday, Oct. 31. Dressed as a pizza, she stuck with the theme of her topic, which was different types grains and what kind of dough they produce. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

FARMINGTON — Students of Mrs. Davis’ fifth grade class at Cascade Brook School were given a special treat on Halloween, and it wasn’t your typical sugary treat. It was pizza!

On Tuesday, Oct. 31, Nick Rimsa, chief of sales and marketing for The Good Crust, came to CBS to talk about what goes into pizza dough, and especially the dough from The Good Crust, a Canaan-based business that specializes in producing high quality pizza dough made of authentic Maine ingredients. His visit was brought to CBS thanks to the help of Community Education Assistant Bella Russo of Franklin County Cooperative Extension.

Keeping in the spirit of the holiday, Rimsa gave a presentation to a class of fifth graders dressed as a carton of milk. Russo stuck with the theme of the presentation and wore a pizza costume, both of which were happily donated by Russo’s fellow cooperative extension cohort Nick Rowley.

“He has way more where these came from,” Russo shared.

The lesson plan included a brief history of The Good Crust, as well as a run down on how grains work and what effect that will have on dough.

Chief of Sales and Marketing Nick Rimsa, center, of The Good Crust shows a fifth grade class how to prepare pizza dough on Tuesday, Oct. 31. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

The Good Crust was founded in September of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Owner Heather Kerner, who previously spent over 26 years working as an occupational therapist, started The Good Crust with two ideas in mind for the business model: source a pizza dough that was made with 100% Maine grains and use her business as a platform for workforce development.


The idea was born when Kerner started using local grains produced by her twin sister Amber Lambke’s company Maine Grains to teach functional life skills to her students. She developed that model into The Good Crust, which now sells its dough to over 120 natural food stores and more.

“It’s been very, very exciting to work with this group, who is packing the dough on a daily basis,” Rimsa told the kids on Tuesday when talking about the workforce development program. “This team now of 20 people is continuing to grow and it’s always very exciting to be working with new teammates.”

Rimsa also talked about different types of flour, such as spelt flour and buckwheat. Kids eagerly asked a variety of questions as well as shared their baking experience. One student, named Emily, said she wanted to make pizza when she grew up, to which Rimsa thought was awesome.

Fifth graders MacKenzie Saylor, left, and Rose Boucher, right, make sure their cheese is just right on Tuesday, Oct. 31. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

While Rimsa was busy checking on the ovens, Russo went over some basics on dough, specifically where dough actually comes from. She guided the children through a lesson that illustrated the anatomy of wheat grain and its different parts. She gave examples of other types of grain and even presented a short video on how wheat is harvested and turned into flour.

After the lesson, it was time to learn how to make pizza. Using dough balls provided by The Good Crust, Rimsa and Russo showed the children how to flatten and stretch their dough balls into perfectly round disks along with how to sauce and cheese the pizza.

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