Day in the Life: Mitchell Moore and Jen Adelsheimer
At first glance, being a baker seems like a sweet gig. And, in so many ways, it is. For Campbell’s Mitchell Moore and Broad Street’s Jen Adelsheimer, being a baker also means being an on-your toes business leader, coach and cheerleader, teaching and developing a team to produce the best possible product.
While there are many similarities in what both do, Moore (a business owner and baker) and Adelsheimer (a pastry chef for three restaurants and a catering company) both, on a day to day basis, play very different roles. Here’s what we found when we tagged along.
Mitchell Moore is in his car, making the drive from Brandon, usually stopping to pick up a latte. On this day, though, he missed his morning caffeine hit to arrive by 5am, expecting a customer who needed her cakes before she left for vacation at 5:30am.
At 6am, he is icing his world-famous petit fours, croissants are being proofed (a process that puffs the pastries out) and brownies are about to be cut. Moore also does inventory on cookies and other items from the day before, noting how many of each he needs to put in the oven for the day.
As his crew begins to arrive, they make sure the front is clean, rugs are outside the door and then prep until 9:30 or 10 am. They’ll do all that without Moore today, who is taking on daddy duty, driving back to Brandon to sit with his daughter while his wife heads to work.
Campbell’s opens at 7am and there’s already a customer at the door. It’s Moore’s father, Delton, a pharmacist, who always picks up croissants for the people in his office.
In the top of Fondren, Jen Adelsheimer arrives at Broad Street. Her day starts later so that she has time at the end of her shift to oversee bread production (more on that later). Before she ever arrives, her pastry cook, Laura Stricklin, has pulled croissants, muffins and scones from the oven to have in cases for the breakfast rush. Assistant pastry chef Amie Guffin has the cold case stocked with cheesecake and pana cotta and has baked two trams of cookies, about 800 pieces in all.
Adelsheimer’s role is to oversee production and make certain the bakery doesn’t run low and that catering orders are ready, on time.
Back at Campbell’s, Moore is at his desk. With over 8,000 fans on Facebook, he says social networking is “a must.” On any given day, a featured item posted online will sell out.
Moore’s looking to take a break. “I’m very zen about it,” he explains, “because it recharges me so much.” After answering emails, he works the rest of his day around appointments — with potential clients and new hires (he’s training a new person today).
By 1 pm, Moore says he’s “struggling” as he takes inventory of supplies (he had stayed until midnight the night before to finish up special orders and was in by 5am). But there are dishes to wash – and that new employee — who he has put to work sweeping. “I usually tell them I don’t know what they need to be doing yet and have them do dishes. If they handle that, I figure we will get along just fine.” By 2 pm, he’s counting down the minutes to calling it a day (even if, ultimately, that was 5 pm).
As the heaviest level of production wraps up over at Broad Street around 2:30 pm – torts, cheesecakes, cookies and cupcakes – Adelsheimer is transitioning to bread. Her team arrived at 2 pm and must make bread for Broad Street, BRAVO! and Sal & Mookie’s. She says for foccaica alone, they’ll go through 400 pounds of dough today.
Adelsheimer says her job is very team oriented. She calls herself a floater, pitching in wherever help is needed.
Today, she’s looking ahead. “I want to stay on top of Atlanta (her hometown),” she laughs. That means working on a new laminated dough (used in pastries) with baker A.J. Broadway and deciding on pumpkin and other fall flavored treats.
September will pick up, she explains, but for now, King Cake season is in the planning. Adelsheimer looks at her clipboard, recalling the early days. “Four years ago, we did 125 king cakes,” she says. “Last year, we did 3,000. My team is capable, so this time, we’ll add more. (Halloween brings the first king cake of the season, the candy bar smash cake.)
Adelsheimer is stocking cases for tomorrow and cleaning. The bread reports have been printed, food costs have been analyzed and she is able to call it a day by 5pm.