Page 48 - Pastry & Baking Magazine

Bakery In Focus
Pastry & Baking North America
What is your best selling item? How do new products
make it into the line-up?
Portuguese bread, raised donuts, and almond macaroons
are perennial favorites. I would say that about half of our
new products are based on current market trends (like cake
pops and specialty cupcakes) and the other half are based on
my own taste. I am always interested in new flavor profiles
and combinations and love to play with formulas in the
winter months.
Way back when, Jay took over responsibility of the
bread and baked goods production.With no formal
culinary training, what steps did he take to immerse
himself in bread making?
Jay and I took the same road. During the first couple of winters,
we returned to Colorado and he worked in a large full service
bakery and he also worked in a Dunkin Donuts. Most of
what he knows about baking came from either Joe Cecot, the
previous owner, one of these other bakeries or trial and error.
Known for your Authentic Nantucket Portuguese
Bread, what is the key to its color, crisp crust and
moist interior?
The key to Portuguese bread is the 5 simple ingredients,
the multiple proofs and hand molding. A proper loaf of
Portuguese bread can not be rushed and is baked directly on
the shelf of the oven. Jay also suspects that Nantucket water
may play a small part!
What do you look for in hiring staff members and
what is the working atmosphere like at the bakery?
When hiring staff, we look for an eagerness to learn, an ability
to follow instructions, a friendly nature and a strong sense of
responsibility and community. Our staff ranges in age from
to 56 and cuts across all socio economic bounds as well as
ethnicities. To be successful here, you have to treat the customer
as well as your coworkers with respect. We have some staff that
has been with us for more than 10 years. And we have watched
many kids grow up into adults while working here. I think we
have a very warm and inclusive work environment that really
is like a family. (In fact we have employed two and sometimes
three generations from one family!)
Please discuss Nantucket Bake Shop’s involvement in
the community.Why is it important to you?
We have always been very involved in supporting the
community here. We rarely if ever refuse a request for
donations for all of the non- profits on island. I always prefer
to give something left over to someone who might enjoy
it rather than throwing it out, like, for example, the kids at
the Boys and Girls Club or the Senior Class fundraisers. In
addition, we have baked for Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer as
well as Cancer Care for Kids.
Over the years, your bakery has received its far share
of publicity. Most notably as a featured bakery in
Mary Haft’s beautiful tome Nantucket, Portrait of
an American Town, and recently being named “Best
Bakery on Nantucket” by Cape Cod Life magazine.
How does such exposure impact your business?
We are always flattered and thrilled to be noticed. We have
clung to the traditional products and values that have been
a part of the Nantucket Bake Shop for decades and it’s nice
when someone validates our choice by noting the quality and
craftsmanship in awards or articles. And of course we love
the customers who come in for the first time and mention this
exposure or the long time customers who love to remind us
how long they have been in the know!
For those readers considering baking as a profession,
what advice can you offer?
If you are considering baking as a profession you should know
that while you will probably never be rich, you will be making
something that brings immediate joy to others and for Jay and
I that has been a huge reward everyday.
Jay and Doughboy