This month we’re chatting to Emma* who works full-time as a baker. The 26-year-old has a Bachelors of Science Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts Management and has been working in the industry since she was just 16-years-old.
This is what a day in Emma’s working world looks like…
5am: “I wake up early – Monday tends to be a busy day as most cafes are busy over the weekend so a full restock is needed. There’s no point in getting dressed up before work so I normally roll out of bed, hair up, brush teeth, wash face, leggings and a t-shirt and then out the door. I never eat breakfast before I leave the house as it normally means I sit down and then leave late!”
“I also have a two-year-old son, so making sure he is ready to go when he wakes up is key; bag packed and lunch made for either the childminder or nanny’s house.”
5.30am: “In the car and off to work. If I leave at this time in the morning then it’s just a 17 minute drive.”
5.50am: “The first thing I do is write out the day’s orders on the white boards. Currently that involves seven cafes all getting a wholesale delivery. I normally bake brownies, mini loaves like individual lemon drizzles, passion fruit and white chocolate loaves and vegan treats are popular too at the moment. I check I have everything I need and a quick trip to the shop is normally needed. I get the bakery ready, pre-heat the oven and then I get started. The day starts with baking all the products and then decorating once cool, and then its onto packaging.”
6am: “I like to have everything baked by midday so that I have time to decorate, which means starting early. Most of my shifts are 18 hours a day and I work five days a week. I went with passion when I chose this career path. I did really well in my exams and could have gone down a different route completely – my other option was history and geography in Trinity College Dublin!”
12pm: “I normally pause for a quick working lunch which is usually leftovers while I reset the kitchen. As your own boss in this job productivity is key, so breaks are on the go and there’s no sitting down with a cup of tea. It’s more like eating a slice of toast while driving and grabbing a granola bar for lunch.”
12.30pm: “I decorate everything and get it boxes and labeled. I make buttercream, pipe cupcakes, top with chocolate and portion up brownies. My favourite thing to do is create something bespoke, like making someone’s wedding cake from scratch and then seeing the couple’s face seeing the design come to life. It’s amazing.”
4.30pm: “Once everything’s decorated and packaged, it’s time for a trip to the wholesalers, and then I need to pick up my son and head home to make dinner. It’s normally something quick but always made from scratch. Pasta is my go-to and my toddlers favourite so win-win.
5.30pm: “It’s time to play, do bath and then bedtime. I find trying to balance everything the hardest part of what I do. Managing a toddler, crohn’s disease, housework, shopping, and Instagram is honestly like having three full-time jobs.”
8.30pm: “Once my son’s in bed there’s often more work, whilst I try and get everything ready for the next day. Over the past year there’s been more takeaway cake as cafes got much busier when everyone was out for a walk, but far fewer wedding and celebration cakes, so it’s kind of balanced out.”
11pm: “I try and get to bed around 11pm, and usually spend some quality time with my partner beforehand (while sneakily doing paperwork and invoices at the same time!). My partner has a physically demanding job so we love that part of the day to sit together and watch a movie or tv show. We just finished Mare of Eastown.”