At least four people have come in this week asking about jobs at the bakery. The conversations are all eerily similar.
THEM: "Are you hiring?"
ME: "Have you ever worked in a bakery before?"
ME: Have you ever worked in a restaurant before?
THEM: "No, but I love to cook and I've always wanted to work in a bakery."
OK, I didn't say this out loud, but I was thinking of several possible responses.
- I love money and I've always wanted to work in a bank. I can also balance my own checkbook. Are you hiring?
- I love kids and I've always wanted to be a teacher. I am also pretty good at Sudoku. Do you have any openings for math teachers? No, I have never been to college and I don't have a teaching credential.
- I love Star Trek and I have always wanted to be an astronaut. Are you hiring at NASA?
- I played football in high school, any jobs at the NFL?
- I like to talk and I was pretty good at debate, will you hire me as your defense attorney?
For all would-be cooks and bakers: It may look easy and fun, but it is not the same as baking at home. I'll repeat one of the responses to FAQ at Charm City Cakes, famous for the "Ace of Cakes" show.
"We are not currently hiring any staff, interns, externs, unpaid grunts, or volunteers."
We're not that extreme, but if you want to work here, you'd better have some experience and be a good (and fast) decorator. No supermarket cakes are made at Mary's. You also have to be willing to do your share of washing dishes, mopping the floor, sifting sugar, scooping cookies, and tons of other grunt work. And we don't pay much. And we work until the last cake is decorated, however long that takes, so no crying about how you have plans the evening before a wedding (which means pretty much every Friday night).
Here is the bottom line. We are a small working bakery. Our customers expect our cakes to look "professionally decorated." That is why they engage our services. We're also in business for profit. That means we have to be able to sell our cakes for at least as much as it costs us to make and decorate them. Every cake we make is hand crafted to order and we try not to overcharge our customers, so we don't have time to direct, lecture or otherwise train inexperienced bakers and decorators. We do offer cake decorating classes for children and adults where we are happy to teach you how to decorate or carve and stack a cake.
One more thing. We don't use the "Wilton Method" of decorating and don't care how many Wilton classes you have taken at the local hobby store. I'm sorry to sound so stern, but please don't try to impress us with your Wilton expertise.
All that being said, if you are an experienced cake decorator and live in the Tuscaloosa area, please do send us your resume. We'll be happy to consider you.