Retail Grocery Bakeries.....

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by cakerookie, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. cakerookie

    cakerookie

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    OK I know I have posted this before somewhere. I think in about 2 weeks or less I will be starting part time at one of the local grocery chain bakeries where I live. Is this a good starting point for learning the ins and outs of baking? Are there certain questions I should ask while I am there? I am real excited about it but I really don't know what to expect. Any thoughts, suggestions.Thanks.
     
  2. erik

    erik

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    I spent about 4 years in a retail grocery store bakery, and the best advice I can give you is to not get your hopes to high, but don't get depressed either. It can be very hit or miss.

    The place I worked was a local chain that at the time was doing a mix of scratch baking and baking from mixes. I was fortunate enough to be working under a gentleman who had been working there for 30+ years. I learned alot, especially work habits and basic hand skills. What I didn't get was alot of the 'knowledge' part of baking. In other words, I got alot of 'how', but very little 'why'.
    If you are going to be working as a cake decorator, I think you'll have a bit better go at it, because you'll get alot of opportunity to practice piping and getting quick and consistant at it.

    Of course, with any potential educational experince (and what job isn't one), you only get back out what you put in.

    And....you're mileage may vary :crazy:
     
  3. panini

    panini

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    I know that you know this, but the best advice i can give you is, don't get caught up in the politics and don't put your business in the street. You're there to work part time and learn, you don't wish to replace anyone, you see things that aren't right, you keep them to yourself(most of the dept's are bonus driven) so yoiu might see some wierd things. You might open your bread freezer one day and see it full to the brim with shrimp someone mistakenly overordered.
    Be a sponge
    good luck
    and remember, it is most beneficial to tell someone you don't know how to do something then it is to wing it.
    hey, you might get to make those cream horns:bounce: but a thousand at a time:lol:
    pan
     
  4. cakerookie

    cakerookie

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    Yeah, thanks Pan and Erik for the tips. I am still hoping to make those cream horns one day.Had planned to do it over the weekend and caught up in making truffles now that was an experience I will not forget but I learned something guess thats what counts. I do agree with Erik I do not expect much really I just thought that I might gain some insight into how a commerical bakery so to speak was operated and maybe catch a tip every now and then. I do know they do a lot of cake decorating which would be great to learn.Have had several people ask me if I could do it but I just don't have the experience to even begin. I have a lot of tips and bags I have been practicing with off and on just cannot seem to get the pressure right on the bag I either push to hard or not hard enough and it comes out all crappy. Icing consistency has been a big problem for me when I tried my hand at it. Don't have any trouble making it its just the stiff,soft,medium and all that other stuff that gets me!
     
  5. panini

    panini

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    one thing with writing, no matter what you are using, it's all about dropping it on to the cake. You cannot write as you would a pencil, to close to the cake and no cigar. When your doing lines, watch were you start and focus on the end of the line and don't watch the tip. I say these things so you can watch for this from the decorator.
    We may be heading back to scratch. Been keeping up with the splenda issue? The FDA approves these things with no knowlege of long term effects.
    Except for medicine where politics dictate.
    Hey, pick up some experience and head down and we'll play in the kitchen. It would be a blast. Have an old friend comong next week to play. Can't wait!
    He's in between openings of restaurants and want to play for a week. He's also coming back in June, Ewald is in town. You may want to think about that. It's a three day class. My coworkers are signed and anxious.
    pan
     
  6. cakerookie

    cakerookie

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    Man what a blast I do not blame them for being excited I know I would be. We just don't get things like that here. I just wished I had not waited so late in life to really find out where my interests are, kind of saddens me really. Splenda! Not much you can with it except coffee and baked goods and I have never used it. Come to think of it I don't believe I have ever picked up a bag of the stuff. Thanks for the tips on writing Pan and other stuff Pan. Been trying to get in and take the Wilton Courses just have not done it yet.What are your thoughts on Wilton? Got any?
     
  7. erik

    erik

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    Ewww...Splenda....
    All I know is when I tried to cream some butter with it I got a gooey mess (and not the gooey mess I was looking for)

    I agree with Pan, be a sponge - don't be afraid to admit you don't know how to do something. Even doing the 'crappy' jobs will help you in the long run.
    I went to culinary school after 6 years of wholesale/retail experience....and the chefs could tell. Sure, you know how to make a cookie.....but after you have made 100,000 of them, you'll KNOW how to make a cookie!
     
  8. cakerookie

    cakerookie

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    Yeah, high potency, non nutritive sweetner, use for your coffee not sugar work.