1. How did you begin baking? What was the catalyst behind your love of cakes and pastry?
I've been in the kitchen baking and cooking since I was 8. In our family, all the kids pitch in to help with the meals. I actually wanted to be a savory chef but family circumstances led me on the accounting path. I started making birthday cakes for family and friends during the evenings and weekends just to keep my hand in something culinary.
2. In your About Page it says, "Over 24 years ago, she was on the path to attend culinary school to become a chef. Family circumstances took her out of the kitchen and led her to a successful career as a CPA. The draw of the kitchen was too great to give up completely and she has been maintaining a dual career as an accountant while honing her skills as a specialty baker for the last 20 years." How did you continue pursuing your passion and what was that process like
I started by baking cakes for family and friends. After a while, people started ordering cakes from me and I would work on them during the evenings and weekends. I started with special occasion cakes for birthdays, showers, etc. and eventually worked up to wedding cakes. I read many cookbooks and watched all the cooking shows that were available when time permitted to learn new techniques and recipes. I have always had a very full schedule. I had my full time job during the day and sometimes weekends, a family to care for, night school, and then the side baking. A lot of juggling but my CPA background gives me a great foundation to run the bakery.
3.Which aspect of the bakery and culinary business is your favorite?
It's actually really simple. I love to make people happy with my food. It is very fulfilling when someone tells you that your cake was the best they have ever eaten. I'm glad it gave them that much joy.
4.What is the most exciting opportunity you've had through your culinary pursuits?
The most exciting opportunity I've had through my culinary pursuits is the opening of my retail bakery. I've dreamed of owing my own food business ever since I could remember. To realize that dream after years of work and planning is very special. Every morning when I walk into my bakery, there is always a split second where I quickly scan the bakery from the case, to the shelves, to the floor, to the ceiling. At that moment, I'm always proud and amazed that we have such a lovely bakery and I vow to do the best I can to provide a great work environment for my staff so we can best serve the community with our quality food, which will inturn create a successful business.
5. Do you have any plans for the future of Sweetz Bakery? Can you tell us about those?
I do have visions of how Sweetz can grow. However, at this time, I am just concentrating on making our current location more efficient while maintaining quality. To run a bakery like ours, keeping up with production is very challenging. We are always looking to improve efficiency.
6. Is it as tempting as one might imagine not to eat all those delicious cakes and pastries?
I've been making these products for over 28 years so I am really not a fan of cake anymore. I only taste for quality control and new flavor development. However, I do really like our croissants and our brownies and will occasionally have bites of those if there are scraps left over. I'm actually more partial to savory foods than sweet foods.
7. What is your favorite part of the day and why?
My favorite part of the day is when we are brainstorming to develop a new flavor or refresh and old idea with a new twist.