When I transferred into the baking and pastry program at CSCC, I figured it was time I should probably get a job in a commercial bakery. I had no idea how tough this would be, especially since I didn’t have any prior commercial baking experience. The crowd was rough! I had more than a handful of first interviews that never panned out to a second interview. I was eager, I wanted to learn and apply what I was learning in the classroom to my job and vice versa. No one seemed interested in giving me that first opportunity.
I had driven by this store on the back side of the mall at Polaris and I wasn’t exactly sure what it was. It had a giant red tomato on the sign and it was called Earth Fare. For some reason I got in my head it was a pottery place (maybe because of the word Fare). I was getting to my wit’s end of the job search and saw that this “pottery” place was hiring a baker. Huh? Turns out, Earth Fare was a grocery store that sold all natural and all organic foods and items. Look at that!
I applied and got a phone call. Came in for my first interview and was asked to come back to for a second interview to demonstrate my bread shaping skills. Excuse me?!? I had a few days till this second interview and I went home and looked up YouTube videos in a frenzy and made as many loaves of bread as possible to get my hand familiar with the techniques. I was extremely nervous and praying I would get the job. I needed this for me and for school.
The bakery manager, Cassie, and the break baker, Brittany, were there to assess my skills. Talk about nerve-racking! I shaped a baguette, loaf, and a batard (this pointy football shape loaf). They weren’t perfect, they were far from it, but I think both ladies saw something in me and Cassie offered me a job. I would be coming in as the bread baker and training with Brittany because she was moving out of state.
At some point, I asked Cassie why she hired me especially without any commercial baking experience. She said that sometimes candidates with out experience are the best to train. They are a clean slate and you can mold them into the way you want them. She said there was a passion and because of my going to school she felt it would be a good fit. If it had not been for Cassie willing to take a chance on this very inexperienced baker, I would not have gained the knowledge and experience my time at Earth Fare allotted me.
Taking a chance on something/someone will sometimes surprise you in the best ways. There’s always the risk of it not turning out the way you’re hoping, but what’s life if you always live inside your comfort bubble? Take a chance and see what happens. I took from Cassie that same mentality when I stepped into management. Taking a chance on that person who may not fit the mold exactly, but you see something that strikes a cord in you and you’re willing to stick it out for them. I’m forever grateful to Cassie and the team at Earth Fare for they really spring-boarded my baking career and fueled my passion for bread.