There comes a time in the life of every passionate baking blogger when you have to answer the question: what if I tried to go legit? What if, rather than spending my days sitting at my job and dreaming about what I’m going to bake that evening, baking was my job?
I’ve been wrestling with this question for the past year, as I’ve poured more and more time into this blog and developed a deeper obsession with pastry. I’ve always liked the stability and predictability of working the 9-5, but it’s never been where my true interests lie. And I became increasingly frustrated with the huge discrepancy between how I spent the majority of my time (staring at a computer screen), and how I wanted to spend the majority of my time (in the kitchen).
When I heard that Theresa Luongo Pinelli, the Chief Sweetness Officer at Treet was looking for a part-time baker, I couldn’t help but offer up my admittedly very amateur baking skills. And when my then full-time employer couldn’t accommodate my working a part time position, I decided that enough was enough. So I quit.
So far, life outside the office world is pretty damn sweet. Theresa is a wonderful pastry chef (and all around awesome person), and I’m learning so much from working with her. And, in case you haven’t tried her stuff, you should. It’s seriously delicious – I’m especially a fan of her peanut butter brownies, mini mocha cupcakes, and macaroons, but everything on her menu is delicious. To make ends meet, I’m also hostessing, doing odd jobs for friends, and getting my own baking gigs from time to time.
Not everything about this decision is easy, of course – working nights definitely puts a damper on my social life, the finances are tough, my feet are killing me, and not having health insurance is . . . well, scary. But having the flexibility and time to pursue what I’m really passionate about is worth it. After spending the past six years working office jobs, I can safely say that there are some of us who just aren’t suited to office work. In fact, I think that a lot of people are hungering for work that gives them more meaning and connection than staring at a computer screen all day can really offer – but that’s a whole other post for another day.
I’ve been putting off writing this post because, as I’ve said before, this really isn’t a personal blog, it’s a baking blog, and so it’s been difficult to write about what was, at the heart of it, a very personal decision. But now that I’ve made baking and pastry my life’s pursuit, rather than just my pastime – well, I had to share. And I have to thank my friends, family, and mentors, who have been incredibly supportive during this big transition.
I’m curious – has anyone else had dreams about quitting their “day job” to pursue food? To pursue something else? And has anyone actually done it?