Ten lessons from Starter Bakery

I wrapped up my week at Starter Bakery by helping them with the Grand Lake Farmers Market in Oakland.  I snapped this picture near the end of the market and after most of our product had been purchased.  It really was impressive listening to the customers gush over their pastries.   It was a great week, and I was able to learn a lot from Brian and Jamie.  Here are a few things that I learned this week (in no particular order of importance).  Some of these, Jamie and Brian, shared.  Some, I learned on the job.

1. Crocs are REALLY comfortable bakery footwear.

2. Never leave a knife in the sink.  Wash it immediately and personally put it back in its place.

3. Hire interns from local culinary programs (or take in SFBI students whose classes have been canceled).  You really can’t beat cheap (or free) labor.

4. The best equipment for any future bakery is of the used variety.  Ebay is a start-up’s friend.

5. Be the BEST at at least one thing….and market that one thing like crazy.


7. No waste.

8. It’s a small foodie world.  Every baker that I know across the country…knows one another.  It’s a small world and a network is important.

9. Start small and expand slowly and in a way that is sustainable.

10. Smile….you’re working 12 hours a day, but you’re doing what you love.

Happy Baking!

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