A Baker’s Beginning

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What is a passion?

A passion is defined as a strong and barely controllable desire towards something. This word is mainly used when directed towards someone – like a stronger word for like or love.  But a passion can also be a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for or about doing something.

So I ask you, what is your passion?

For me, my passion is Baking.

Growing up in Colorado Springs, I remember going over to my aunts house to decorate birthday cakes or watching my mom in the kitchen baking her grandmother’s cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning.  I honestly can’t remember the exact moment when watching became helping which eventually became being the designated person at every party to bring a sweet dish.

But what I do remember is the  l o v e  my mom had for making something for others.

You’ve probably heard the saying  “The Kitchen is the Heart of the Home” or “Happiness is Homemade.” Though these quotes seem very clique – there is truth to them:

IMG_0006Memories are made in the kitchen – think back on some of yours. Do you remember during Christmas when you used to decorate cookies with your family? OR remember the time when you went to your friends BBQ on the 4th of July just to get your friend’s Dad’s famous smoked ribs? Our lives revolve around the kitchen and the people in it. Why? Because it’s a place of love.

Additionally, food always tastes better when it’s made by someone else – and I’m speaking from experience. I can make the same recipe my mom makes and hers will always taste better! It is all because my mom has made it with love.

Her love for baking inspired me. Both my parents saw the God given talent in me and decided to put me in small classes growing up as an elective for my homeschooling. Taking these classes with friends and family made them so much more than they were meant to be. It built upon the community that evolves around food, that it’s not just about who can make something the best but about sharing and being encouraging towards one another.

Fast forward to high school is when I began to make cakes for people. This was and still is my favorite thing to bake. There is such an art to decorating a cake, especially when you are allowed to be creative! Cakes are just a canvas waiting to be painted – at least that’s how I picture them. I would also always view it as an experiment, expressing great gratitude to my friends and family for letting me use them as my testers when trying out a new recipe – some of which did not turn out!

As every high schooler struggles with, I really didn’t know what to do for college. So when it came time to graduate, I decided to turn one of my hobbies into my work – because why not do something you love for a living? As a result, I enrolled at Pikes Peak Community College in the Culinary Arts: Baking and Pastry Arts program!

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Due to the wisdom and hearts of the Chefs who continue to teach at this school, baking grew from just a hobby of mine to a passion and love. The chefs showed their love for what they had been doing for over 30 years and shared that with every class they taught. I took classes from decorating wedding cakes to making mini desserts for fancy events in the Springs. We even made giant gingerbread houses for the Ronald McDonald House Charities and many more! I learned so much, but one of the many lessons that I remember and am still trying to apply to my life is that whether we bake or cook – we are doing it for the customer. It’s not about us, but it’s about making someones day.
We share our love for what we do with others to bless others.

Yet again, it all goes back to  l o v e.

After college until now, Just BE’s Pastries & More has grown from an un-forseen childhood dream into a reality. This dream could not have come this far if it wasn’t for   the time I spent after college working for a local coffee shop as their baker. This place gave me the space to grow and create new recipes in their small, yet beautiful kitchen. They hired me because they needed me and honestly I needed them too. They had a passion for coffee, and I for baking. We paired our passions together and it was wonderful! Not only this, but they introduced me to a community full of people with many other passions – which we all got to share with one another in full.

 

Concluding then, this is just a simple bakers beginning. Starting from a small dream to making it into a reality. I write to inspire you and encourage you. If you have something you are passionate about, then go for it! I’m not saying there won’t be trials along the way, but never loose sight of why you do what you love to do.  Yes, I love to bake. But ultimately I do it because I want to make someone’s day better. Whether that be a small plate of cookies for some friends or a wedding cake on a bride & groom’s special day.
It’s never been about me, but it’ll always be about the people and community I love and want to give back to.

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With love,

Brooke Elizabeth

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