17 y/o seeking career guidance


AaronPD

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I will be a high school senior this forthcoming year. I have loved baking at home for over a decade. This summer I earned the ServSafe certification and worked for 10 weeks in a bakery in the production area. This bakery is almost 100 years old and makes just about everything. Even though it was super hot and I couldn't take any breaks I couldn't wait to go to work every day.

I want to make pastry my career. What would be best:

. Finish high school and do an internship at this bakery for 12 weeks and work there.
. Go to college part-time, work at this bakery part-time.
. Get an internship at a major hospitality company.
. Go directly to a pastry program. I'm in Chicago and there is the French Pastry School and Kendall College.
. Go to the Culinary Institute of America for their pastry program.

Thanks!
 
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viv

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Yesss!! I love that I’m not alone. I recently graduated from hs (class of 2019) and I’ve decided to go to pastry school in New York. Although I’ve never had any jobs geared towards my career, I’ve had many opportunities where I can present my skills. As for your choices, I would say the safest option would be go to college part time and work part time. Not only does this give you more education, it helps you get money and skills as the same time. HOWEVER if you’re like me and want to risk everything while having fun, go straight to pastry school ;) I mean I’m literally dropping everything and moving across the country. But honestly, just do you boo
 

retired baker

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I will be a high school senior this forthcoming year. I have loved baking at home for over a decade. This summer I earned the ServSafe certification and worked for 10 weeks in a bakery in the production area. This bakery is almost 100 years old and makes just about everything. Even though it was super hot and I couldn't take any breaks I couldn't wait to go to work every day.

I want to make pastry my career. What would be best:

. Finish high school and do an internship at this bakery for 12 weeks and work there.
. Go to college part-time, work at this bakery part-time.
. Get an internship at a major hospitality company.
. Go directly to a pastry program. I'm in Chicago and there is the French Pastry School and Kendall College.
. Go to the Culinary Institute of America for their pastry program.

Thanks!
Talk to the owner of the bakery you like working in.
I apprenticed for 7 years in a french cafe, never spent a penny on any school.
But I did work my first 6 months for no pay, he gave my mother $50 to feed me.
Its a trade, you cannot learn these hand skills in a school.
The sacrifices you make at the beginning pay off in spades later.
I wrote an article for pastry chef magazine yrs ago, saying most culinary grads end up up doing other work within 5 yrs, they wash out of the trade. The quick shortcut is a fast track out of the business.
 

MacShop

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I will be a high school senior this forthcoming year. I have loved baking at home for over a decade. This summer I earned the ServSafe certification and worked for 10 weeks in a bakery in the production area. This bakery is almost 100 years old and makes just about everything. Even though it was super hot and I couldn't take any breaks I couldn't wait to go to work every day.

I want to make pastry my career. What would be best:

. Finish high school and do an internship at this bakery for 12 weeks and work there.
. Go to college part-time, work at this bakery part-time.
. Get an internship at a major hospitality company.
. Go directly to a pastry program. I'm in Chicago and there is the French Pastry School and Kendall College.
. Go to the Culinary Institute of America for their pastry program.

Thanks!
I will be a high school senior this forthcoming year. I have loved baking at home for over a decade. This summer I earned the ServSafe certification and worked for 10 weeks in a bakery in the production area. This bakery is almost 100 years old and makes just about everything. Even though it was super hot and I couldn't take any breaks I couldn't wait to go to work every day.

I want to make pastry my career. What would be best:

. Finish high school and do an internship at this bakery for 12 weeks and work there.
. Go to college part-time, work at this bakery part-time.
. Get an internship at a major hospitality company.
. Go directly to a pastry program. I'm in Chicago and there is the French Pastry School and Kendall College.
. Go to the Culinary Institute of America for their pastry program.

Thanks!
Hi Aaron,
I have owned a 90 year old full-service premier bakery for the last 20 years. You can no longer make a living in this type of business because your expenses will grow beyond what you can charge. Our bakery has a few excellent items that sell well on the internet. Our plan is to expand that.
Here is my advice to you:
Develop a few perfect recipes for all the new baked goods areas that are increasingly in demand, such as
Gluten-free
Sugar free
Dairy free
Paleo
Keto
Vegan
Marijuana recipes, who knows.
Etc.
Research and make a list and start figuring it out. Target local bakeries, coffee shops, trendy places and restaurants, and sell to them.
Make sure your products have a good shelf life or freeze well, and that the places you sell to handle your products correctly.
When your products are perfect, start an online business. Ship USPS 3 day priority or USPS overnight priority. Keeps the cost down.
Choose your online domain name asap. They cost under $10 at GoDaddy. That way you'll have it when you need it.
Also, go to college while you are doing your baking business. Take business classes too. It will help.
Blessings,
MacShop
 

AaronPD

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Thank you! That's very helpful!

My Mom has a business and my Dad is a lawyer. They wanted me to ask you if there are any magazines or books they should read to educate themselves on setting up a baking business, e.g., legalities of a cottage baking business. My dad can look this up, but he asked that I ask you.
 

Norcalbaker59

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Thank you! That's very helpful!

My Mom has a business and my Dad is a lawyer. They wanted me to ask you if there are any magazines or books they should read to educate themselves on setting up a baking business, e.g., legalities of a cottage baking business. My dad can look this up, but he asked that I ask you.
Can you see cottage baking business I assume you’re going to produce the baked goods in your home kitchen then sell directly to the public. At least in the US that’s what is defined as a cottage a baking business.

In the US, just about every state regulates the cottage food operators (CFO’s). Unfortunately there isn’t much material on setting up your own cottage business.

You can bake from a home kitchen, but you’ll need a business license and you’ll need to be in compliance with the cottage food laws in your state.

The place to start would be with your local county Health and Human Services Department as the county will adopt the state requirements. A county cannot pass statutes beyond those imposed by the state, but they might include additional requirements. For instance the county I live in requires an inspection of the home kitchen even though the state does not require an inspection of the kitchen.

There’s a list of products can be produced. It really comes down to what is referred to as Water Activity. So google “water activity levels and cottage food laws.” You don’t need to understand water activity in its entirety. But you do need an overview of what water activity is, and how it applies to the cottage food industry.

Most states will not allow for Internet sales of food products that are produced in home kitchen. Meaning you cannot ship them. Food normally must be exchanged in person. And this again comes down to water activity in the food. So this is why you need an basic understanding of water activity.

A certificate in food safety and handling may be required. I live in California and just about every food retailer, restaurant, hospitality provider requires a certificate. It’s pretty much a given if you work in hospitality you need a certificate. And if you were going to be a CFO you need a certificate. The certification can be obtained online.

People always ask about pricing. Pricing is very specific to area. I live in the Napa valley. Prices here are quite high compared to the next county over. The cost of local
ingredients are also much higher here than they are for other areas as well so those factor into the final price of goods. So your pricing is going to be specific to your area. And only you can figure out what your prices are going to be.

I hope this helps.
 
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MacShop

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Hi Aaron,
Norcalbaker's got this one. I googled magazines for starting bakeries, and there actually are a few. I don't know about starting up a bakery because my husband and I bought a bakery that had already been around since 1930.
Possibly you can rent space in an inspected communal commercial kitchen, where people and businesses bake and cook at different times, so you can get a feel for commercial production and get all those regulations issues taken care of. We have those in New Jersey. Maybe you could start one. Just don't take out a loan and build a bakery or a commercial kitchen!!! You will never get your money back.
The most important thing to have is a first-rate accountant who knows all about financial stuff like getting you a grant or even a Go Fund Me project. Then you could lease space somewhere. You can hire minorities or women and receive government and private grant money. You can advertise yourself as a vegan pastry specialist, an organic one, a Paleo one, or a gluten free one and get inspected and endorsed by the Celiac people. You can get yourself certified Kosher. FIGURE OUT WHAT THE DEMANDS ARE GOING TO BE and master those areas. Maybe someday you'll have a shop or a factory. In the mean time, find the local deli who wants to sell your crumbcake, and the vegan place who will sell your desserts.
Always keep your eyes open for what sweet stuff is selling where. Visit bakeries whenever possible, don't ask too many questions, and NEVER say you are interested in baking. Get any product lists and menu's with prices they might have around, and purchase whatever you think looks good. Eat it at home at the perfect moment. Take notes.
It's a big world out there. Dominate!
 

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