kikiandkyle Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 4:39am
post #1 of

For those who are doing this full-time as a profession, how did you get your foot in the door? What got you that start you needed? If you work for someone else, how did you get this job? 

12 replies
-K8memphis Posted 22 Mar 2013 , 5:20pm
post #2 of

a loooong time ago i took a free bread making class...in chicago!!!

 

from that i got a job as a cook at a health food restaurant called the green planet--in those days you had to have tb tests to work with food

 

i thought i arrived at the right clinic for the test (but no i was at the wrong address) and said, 'i'm from the green planet...'

whoa they looked at me very strangely icon_biggrin.gif

 

then i went here and there and worked in canada in pastry at etherea on bloor if memory serves--and etc

 

then i rented a school kitchen & sold bread

 

and got a job baking at a school..started doing wedding cakes for the students...

 

the rest is hysterical--no no i mean history ;)

 

so my first cakes were on legal grounds

 

my dear old pops drove me to wilton's in roseland in chicago to make my first cake toy purchases

 

pretty cool

 

(except i'm not currently doing cakes full time)

-K8memphis Posted 22 Mar 2013 , 7:31pm
post #3 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis 

 

(except i'm not currently doing cakes full time)

 

and that's why i never responded to this thread--sorry

 

and any job i ever got after that i just saw in the classified ads in the newspaper

 

or heard about word of mouth and just applied--some i got some i didn't of course

 

some i wish i hadn't gotten!!!

embersmom Posted 22 Mar 2013 , 10:48pm
post #4 of

I got into this business by accident.  I was a front end supervisor at a local supermarket.  One night we had an armed robbery.  I was injured (not shot, btw) as they made their getaway.  To make a long story short, I had quite a bit of PTSD afterward and I couldn't work around money.  The only department opening at the time was for a bakery clerk, so management transferred me.

 

I learned mostly everything I know now from the 4 years I worked at that bakery.  Back in those days we still scratched baked the bread/rolls, most of the breakfast goods, and some of the speciality (like carrot) cakes.  We made our own fillings and icings.  Our decorator had been in the business for many years, and there was nothing she couldn't make.  I was so fascinated by her work that I was allowed to watch her.  Eventually she taught me the basics via the monkey-see-monkey-do method.

 

It was the same thing in other stores.  I'd be primarily baking, but I always watched and learned from the decorators.  On their days off, I'd fill, ice, and decorate cakes for the display case.  As became more confident in my skills, I started doing custom orders.

 

Through the years I've also worked in a wholesale bakery as a decorator/pastry finisher and as a pastry chef at a local restaurant.  I've since gone back to the supermarket industry.  I still decorate, but, as you've probably read elsewhere here on CC, the business is nowhere near the same as it was when I first started.
 

kikiandkyle Posted 23 Mar 2013 , 1:33pm
post #5 of

Wow, both great stories (except the armed robbery bit, sorry to hear that!).

 

I'm hoping to find a part-time job somewhere soon, to learn the ropes before I take the plunge myself.

-K8memphis Posted 23 Mar 2013 , 2:05pm
post #6 of

chicago should be a great area to find some entry level grunt work

 

and i'm sure you could work your way up

 

lotta great country clubs in chitown and they need pastry peeps

 

not going to get you a gold watch & a pretty pension

 

but experience in the trenches --yes

 

hotels too--and hotels often have the benefits

embersmom Posted 24 Mar 2013 , 1:48am
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikiandkyle 

Wow, both great stories (except the armed robbery bit, sorry to hear that!).

 

I'm hoping to find a part-time job somewhere soon, to learn the ropes before I take the plunge myself.


I've managed to block most of it -- for instance, I can't tell you how exactly I was injured.  The only thing I remember is wandering the aisles returning product and crying every time I turned the corner and saw the front end.

 

Out of everyone who was affected by the robbery that night (the people at the service desk, the manager on duty, the cashiers, etc.), I was the only one who didn't quit their job immediately afterward.

-K8memphis Posted 24 Mar 2013 , 1:59am
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by embersmom 


I've managed to block most of it -- for instance, I can't tell you how exactly I was injured.  The only thing I remember is wandering the aisles returning product and crying every time I turned the corner and saw the front end.

 

Out of everyone who was affected by the robbery that night (the people at the service desk, the manager on duty, the cashiers, etc.), I was the only one who didn't quit their job immediately afterward.

 

 

wow--i'm so sorry that happened and so glad you have recovered as much as you have

leah_s Posted 24 Mar 2013 , 2:08am
post #9 of

I went to culinary school, because the time was right.  (Retired early, great school in town, could finally afford it)  After graduating from culinary school, I decided I'd better do something with my shiny new degree, so three weeks after graduating I signed up for and participated in a 2 day wedding show.  I made several cake dummies, printed off biz cards on my computer and talked fast.  I sold 12 wedding cakes that first year.  It was enough to fund building up tools inventory and continuing doing wedding shows.  A few years later I had a booming biz.  Several years later I burned out.  Now I have a food truck. 

Brettley Posted 24 Mar 2013 , 2:30am

Well...... My daughters first birthday cake I  ordered from a decorator. Must say I was quite disappointed....  And I remember thinking jeesh I could do that. So I decided at that point to take up the hobby, I wanted to give her something special on her birthdays and figured I should be the one to do it.

 

So.... I made cakes for all of my nieces, nephews, family weddings etc every occasion I could think of to get practice, I did this for 4 years practicing while still working a full-time job, my husband was in Law school and my daughter was in every activity on the planet.  Recently I got my break!! I am still astounded by the opportunity. I ran into a family whom I used to work for years ago... and they, coincidentally, were moving from 1 kitchen/restaurant location to another and their current kitchen was going to be unused..... BAM! They OFFERED it to me, and all I do is supply them with their desserts every week for rent!! It works out to be a substantial amount for them in cost and all it cost me is the ingredients/time. And I have their orders down to an art now. haha. Since I started advertising (which is actually quite minimal) business has completely taken off. 28 weddings so far this year, and booked completely for the summer.

 

The problem is is that that kitchen is 30 min away from home. We are currently in the process of building a kitchen in our home, which was always the plan. My husband just did not think that cakes would be a good business opportunity and was always leary of the idea. He is a No-Risk kind of guy, whereas I am a Jump-in-feet-first kind of girl. Now I have the #'s and he finally sees what I have been trying to show him.

 

I knew as soon as I finished my first cake that this is what I am meant to do. I still get that same feeling every time I finish a cake.

 

Hard work really does pay off. I have a long way to go yet, but I love where I am at, and I love how my future looks!

kikiandkyle Posted 24 Mar 2013 , 2:26pm

Embersmom it sounds like you have been stronger than most of us would be, I hope we haven't stirred up any bad memories for you. 

 

Brettley and Leah those are both great stories. I hope that by the time I feel I have my recipes down, and my skills up to par, a chance like those will come along for me. 

 

K8Memphis unfortunately I'm home with my son who has a developmental delay right now so I can only work weekends, I check Craigslist all the time for weekend jobs but none have really come up so far. Still checking regularly though! 

-K8memphis Posted 24 Mar 2013 , 2:35pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikiandkyle 

K8Memphis unfortunately I'm home with my son who has a developmental delay right now so I can only work weekends, I check Craigslist all the time for weekend jobs but none have really come up so far. Still checking regularly though! 

 

 

keep the faith--weekends (often including at least a friday & usually a thursday though) are when demand is highest--you'll get there!

bnbmom Posted 25 Mar 2013 , 7:58am

A

Original message sent by -K8memphis

a loooong time ago i took a free bread making class...in chicago!!!

from that i got a job as a cook at a health food restaurant called [I]the green planet[/I]--in those days you had to have tb tests to work with food

i thought i arrived at the right clinic for the test (but no i was at the wrong address) and said, 'i'm from the green planet...' whoa they looked at me [I]very[/I] strangely :D

I can't stop laughing!

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