To start out, let me introduce myself.
My name is Zoe, and I’ll be updating this blog regularly. You might recognize me from my occasional appearance at the front counter. I started out, like everyone else at Macy’s, washing dishes. Eventually I moved to the register and learned the art of preparing a perfect cup of coffee, a well-balanced cappuccino, and an exquisite latte. My real passion, however, lies in the bakery.
This is where I spend all my time now. There’s something very satisfying about the process it takes to bake a pie from scratch, prepare and decorate a cake or even just mix up a batch of cookies. It’s such a creative process and I love being able to work with this edible art form daily.
In hindsight, I look back on myself as a toddler making mud pies and letting them bake on the sidewalk in the desert sun and I think, I was always a baker. If I’m honest with myself, though, I have to admit this interest and love of baking blossomed slowly.
Growing up, I baked a lot from boxed mixes. Bisquick, Jiffy . . . My family very seldom baked anything from scratch (except the occasional loaf of banana bread) so, I thought baking was boring but I loved to cook.
My first truly moving experience with baking occurred when I was traveling around the Northwest. I was stranded in Coos Bay without enough money for a hotel. Thankfully, I met a kind woman at the Visitor’s Center who took me in for the night, but first we spent the afternoon picking blackberries in her sister’s garden. We took several baskets of blackberries back to her house and I spent the evening learning to bake a blackberry pie. We baked late in the night and then stayed up waiting hours for the pie to cool so we could taste it.
A couple years later, I was living in New York. I loved the city, but it was a miserable experience. It was difficult to find a stable job and I was in a bad relationship. I’d wile away the days sitting in coffee shops writing articles for a magazine that went out of business before I was published. Then, I started noticing several bake-offs in my area (Williamsburg, Brooklyn). Suddenly, I was spending all my free time baking and experimenting with the recipes that required few ingredients. I was giddy when I realized all you needed for shortbread is sugar, flour and butter. I baked an apple pie and entered a “Big Apple Pie Bake-off.” I didn’t win, but it was one of the few completely happy experiences that I took back from my time there.
When I left New York I never stopped baking. Most of the people I baked for had special diets, but I was determined to be able to share this wonderful process with everybody. I started seeking out recipes for vegan and gluten-free baked goods which have now become my specialty here at Macy’s.
After the period of baking alone in New York and having no one to share the food I created with, it was suddenly very important to be able to connect with people. That’s why I am so happy to have found this job at Macy’s. It’s provided me with the chance to do something that I love every day. Now that I’m writing this blog, that even extends to my love of writing.
The best part of baking (and writing) for me has always been sharing that with the people around me. Not only do I get to meet the wonderful people passing through Macy’s, but I am surrounded every day by the unique and creative people I work with. I am looking forward to introducing all my beautiful co-workers to you throughout this blog.
Thank you for reading!