Cupcake Friday Project

A one-woman test kitchen meets nano-bakery

Baking up passion

Mel in her owl apron for Cupcake SmashI don’t think I’m long for this publishing world—I enjoyed studying English in college and then publishing in grad school mainly because I love books and magazines and, simply put, I’m good at what I do. But looking back, I can see it wasn’t enough of a challenge. I picked the easy route—something I could succeed at with minimal effort or risk of failure, when instead I should have taken the very scary jump into something else. Maybe forensics (my love for science and the macabre) or better yet, the culinary arts, specializing in pastry.

While many years of education would have been required for a career in forensics, I still think I can rise to the challenge of a culinary career through the avenues of self-teaching, a handful of classes and perseverance. Not to poo-poo a traditional culinary career—you learn practical skills, meet the right people and have a front row seat to the pressures of this extremely creative and competitive field. But it seems like if you have the drive, the capital and the ideas, a self-taught chef or baker can succeed just as well.

Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself. Grow my baking skills. Create a solid set of recipes that are consistent. Pull together capital, a business plan and bake for whoever is willing to place a special order just to get my name and baked goods out in front of more people.

The big decision I will face eventually is whether to steer my baking business down the avenue of catering and supplying other cafes and bakeries, or to go balls-out and get a store front. Then, if I take that very very scary jump (trust me, it is), am I take-out bakery? A sit-down bakery? A full service cafe with a $2000 espresso machine and fully-caffinated baristas? It’s a lot to consider, and some days it makes me a little freaked out. Other days, I feel blissed out at the thought of turning a passion into a living. I guess this is what most soon-to-be small business owners feel.

1 Comment

  1. I’m a very long time watcher and I just believed I’d drop by and say hello there for the first time. I truly take pleasure in your posts. Thanks

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