We never anticipated on baking as a career. We studied Rhetoric, Global Studies, Business or Geography. We worked in offices and restaurants, slinging data entries or coffee, but eventually we all ended up baking together. And for most, we can no longer imagine doing anything else. That is who we are at Rustica: accidental bakers.
We all have different beginnings to our arrival as bakers. For me, it was studying abroad in Munich, Germany for a year. I like to say that I found bread when I was there. The multiple corner bakeries passed on my way to university with wheat and butter wafting through the open and close of the door. Vollkornbrot tucked under an arm, a buttered pretzel in hand. Meals created around bread, Brotzeit (literally bread time), became a staple in my diet. Eventually I met a friends' father, a baker, who seemed to be the happiest man in Germany. It didn't ultimately click that bread was what I should be pursuing, but upon my return to Amerika I procrastinated school with pretzels and baked my first from scratch cookies.
Eventually I graduated and found myself unable to find a job in my field of study. Recognizing my interest in baking, I contacted a baker who was generous enough to teach me about baking. Since then, I've changed jobs and cities multiple times, have vacationed simply to work in a bakery for a few days and learn something new. Eventually I found myself in Minneapolis with a job at Rustica with a band of accidental bakers.
Our stories all vary, and we all bake for different reasons. Yet we can't imagine doing anything else. It is easy to romanticize baking, and I romanticize it now in my thoughts and on paper, but not everything about it is quite so romantic. There is a lot of cleaning, sleepy days, and repetition. But there is also an amazing amount of satisfaction every day. We receive slow gratification as the baking process comes to an end and we are able to share our labor with friends and strangers alike. Every day what we create we give away.
Waking at two am yields to the sun as our days labor begins to find its way into new hands.