Friday, September 9, 2011

    Lauren’s Log: Inside SPOT Bagel Bakery's First Months

    Hey bagel lovers, this is the start of my new “Lauren’s Log” series. I’ll be sharing what’s going on “behind the curtain” at SPOT’s bakery from my perspective as a baker. I intend to reveal a lot…maybe too much…including how we’re obsessed with crafting delicious bagels, staff food fights, and even gossiping about who got locked in the walk-in refrigerator. Hope you find this interesting. Please leave me a comment. I’d love to hear what’s on your mind.

    I have a history of working with new restaurants and businesses, but while I enjoy the problem-solving and getting my hands dirty, the overwhelming hard work in SPOT’s first months felt like sheer insanity. Everyone was forced to jump in and help out with everything from production to development, marketing, and even cleaning (everyone’s favorite task, of course).  We were all working frantically and so sleep deprived that you can imagine some of our slap-happy times in the bakery. 

    Of course we took our bagels seriously, but we also enjoyed exploding bags of blue cornmeal all over each other (I had an aura of blue dust around me like Pig-Pen from Peanuts), found a claustrophobic trainee locked in a walk-in refrigerator that had no lock, and made lots of sticky messes with 50 pound buckets of with molasses, barley malt, and honey. When it came to water, we were really out of control; an overflowing kettle, out of control water hoses spraying chaotically, and powerful streams of water ricocheting in the general direction of my face. For the record, I’m a big advocate of water conservation, but at the time we were all pretty klutzy.

    Now let me advise you on running a bakery. If you aren’t a glutton for punishment, save yourself the trouble and just deprive yourself of sleep for three days, put on a hair net, jump in the shower fully clothed, dust yourself with a few pounds of flour, roll in honey, and sprinkle on some poppy seeds for good measure.

    I hope you enjoy the bagels we’ve worked so hard on!