Dear Friends of the Berea College Farm,
A couple weeks ago, we introduced you to several of the interns working at the Berea College Farm for the summer, but as we mentioned, many of our students use summer as an opportunity to branch out from Berea to learn skills that will help them for life both inside and outside the bubble. For this week’s newsletter, we touched base with Ivy Webb, ’17, student baking manager at the Berea College Farm Store and Philosophy major. Ivy has been interning at Stick Boy Bread Company in her home state of North Carolina and here is what she’s been up to:
Before starting at Stick Boy Bread Company, I had no idea what to expect and I could only assume that there would be a larger scale of production than what I have become accustomed to at the Berea College Farm Store. Walking into the bakery on my first morning, I knew I was right when I immediately encountered a five deck oven and the three large mixers in the kitchen.
My initial task was to make a batch of muffins, weighed out in a large bin, with a recipe calling for about twenty-eight eggs and two pounds of butter, at least ten times more than a Farm Store batch of muffins. Not only are the pastries prepped in large quantities, but they also bake off a second batch around noon to replenish what has been sold. After becoming accustomed to the way the Farm Store operates, this was not a concept with which I was familiar. When I learned how to prep the logs for the cinnamon rolls, I was once again blown away by the scale at which Stick Boy is operating. We made twenty logs of cinnamon rolls to be frozen and baked off over the next day or two.
After working two weeks on pastry prep, I made the transition to bread and was astounded by the number of wholesale orders we filled. On some nights, we made as many as twenty dozen burger buns for a local restaurant, along with several dozen rolls, hoagies, and loaves of bread for other wholesale customers. The number of house loaves was astronomical as well. Being accustomed to making only a handful of loaves in one or two varieties per day for the Farm Store, I was baffled Stick Boy could consistently sell the volume of bread that they are able to. The fact that they are making such a variety of breads in batches of around 20 (or more) loaves per batch, was incredibly exciting.
So far, my experiences in both pastry and bread at Stick Boy have only further invigorated my enthusiasm to become a baker. I am excited to bring back new ideas and methods to the Farm Store, and to use what I have learned to better serve our customers. Although I have not yet narrowed down which type of baking in which I am more interested, I have a feeling that either one will open up an amazing world of opportunities and delicious things to eat!
We anxiously await Ivy’s return to Berea this fall and look forward to all the tasty treats she will be sharing with us! To get a preview of her handiwork, check out her photo album on the Berea College Farm Store facebook page!
Until next time, eat well!
Jessa Turner – Manager