Good Morning, it is great to meet you all. After some good suggestions and prompting, I will lay down my life story for you. (kinda, sorta) and tell everyone about the Opening of a Bakery. First a brief history. I was born and raised with excellent food. My Mom was a chef in London in the early 60's. She won't say she is a chef though- something like Culinary Professional. She made everything from scratch for us, in the 1970's when everyone was digging what came out of boxes, bags, frozen or freeze-dried astronaut food. I started training at her knee and cooked/baked family meals from 10 years old. I was a natural, and started working at our Italian friends, the Todaros, party center at age 14. They also had an Italian import shop in the 70's and I remember the smell of olives, cured meats and cheeses. When I think of it, and breathe in, I can still smell it as though it were yesterday. Next phase, I start woking fast food. Arby's in fact, and made Manager by age 18. I thought I was hot shit and too cool for school. I give credit to that experience for teaching me all about sanitation, and being seriously AR. Fill the fries up to this line, fill the shakes up to this line, try and make it all look like it does in the advertisements. I swear this was my goal! By the way don't ever eat that "roast beef"...that's another tale. So I'm a teenager who needs fast cash to feed that jones, and work at Pizza Hut. I make the best looking pies with concentric circles of pepperoni and perfectly layered cheese. Whip it out, slice it perfectly, then drive all over town while getting loaded with all of the other drivers and cooks. Deliver free pies to the big parties, get free drugs! Now become most popular person around... next phase hazy due to drugs, ..............., uuuhh,....., get cleaned up, move back in with parents. Start working at a Steak & Prime Rib joint. Roast those babies perfectly, become even more of an anal freak and do everything JUST SO. Move into soups and sauces. LOVE BEING SAUCIER!!! Love sucking the cans of whipped cream first thing in the AM, and then saying, hey!! These ones are all flat, bring me another case ASAP!! Get shit together, move to Pacific Northwest all by myself,I remembered huge trees, crystal clear water and big mountains from a childhood trip. Seattle. Yep, they are still there although the trees have taken a beating by clear cutting and 'forest management'. Work in a hotel and do every position. Learn about assembly line plating for thousands of people. Learn that the platters of food I am making cost the guest $3500, while I am making $8 an hour and putting 50 cents in the gas tank just to get to work. Soaking up the culinary scene of Seattle, and learning all about Pike Place Market. Coffee. Beer. Mushrooms.Nuts. Pears.Berries. Produce, meat, handcrafted cheeses. Wine. More coffee. Learning that the alehouses of Seattle are some of the best restaurants in the city, and that most of the rest of the country can not compare to their beautiful marriage of excellent food paired with excellent beer. Now to move to my most favorite job ever. The Maple Leaf Grill, working for Rip. He's an amazing chef who calls himself a cook. He is humble about the accolades he receives, and he is one talented MF. He teaches me all about the importance of locally grown products. The Northwest has it all. That's our wild mushrooms, berries, lamb, potatoes and hazelnuts that most of the country is eating. And salmon, how could I forget that? We go to Pike Place Market, fill up backpacks, hoof it back to the restaurant and see what rolls out. Leeks, vinegar, honey, . Tomatoes, sausages, aged cheeses. Pears. Purple potatoes. Oysters. Chiles. I could keep going... Now I'm completely sucked in to only using the very best, freshest, handcrafted products. Obsession! Passion! Damn the cost! I want the best! Keep cooking in great places all over the Northwest. Seattle, Eugene, Portland. By the way at this point I am only doing savory stuff. I have very little interest in baking & pastry. I am also the only woman in the kitchen at all of my jobs. I learn to fight dirty, and become a tough bitch. I go to culinary school, and am very let down. Expensive, full of 18 year-olds forced into some kind of trade by their parents, already teaching passe' CLASSICS. I do learn about costing, and how to manage 18 year-olds. I take an internship in charcuterie, and also research cheesemaking. I am working Sous Chef jobs, one after the other, then start to think, well if I am going to ever make executive chef, I'd better know every single position in the kitchen. I had always stayed away from bread and pastry. I am also thinking do I HAVE to go to France and work under big names to be acknowledged as a talented chef? Will I always be small potatoes if I don't? Do my stages with big wigs count for anything? I have never been able to afford to go to France to train. One day, while working as Sous at the charcuterie joint, which also had 3 sister restaurants and a huge catering business, the Pastry Chef quits and they come running to me. Do I want to do it? Can I help for a few weeks until we find a new PC? I say sure what the heck, I'm supposed to learn everything anyway if I'm ever gonna hit Exec. So I delve into pastry, and have no one to teach me and show me. I learn very fast that you do not want to overcook 20 cheesecakes. Or anything else. It is a very humbling experience, and I feel like such a loser for not knowing these things. But, I am a research queen. I figure it out. as always, by myself, the hard way which is the best way- you learn everything VERY QUICKLY about what to do, what not to do. what works. Trial and error. Thrown in to the lion's den, the way it has always worked for me. None of this hand-holding crap for me, thank you very much! I can do it! Fast forward a few years, and I finally feel like, yes, I am a Pastry Chef. Wow, whooda thunk? I work for some serious bastards a long the way. I get screwed over, and never get the pay I deserve, and frequently feel like I work for Hitler's Henchmen. The old boys club too. Work extra hard, and make sure I am the last one standing each night. First person in, last person out, all for $24K a year, 6 days a week for 18 hours a day. I am a zombie. I cry on the way home from sheer exhaustion. Never ever cry at work. Never let'em see ya sweat. I can do it. I can handle it. No problem! How much and when do you need it by?? Piece of fricken cake. Born to do it with both hands tied behind my back, I can pull that tray out of the oven with my teeth! Yep, I'm opening a bakery RIGHT NOW and I am spilling my guts on a forum. I do not have time for this, but it is in some ways therapeutic. MY personal time. However I am whupped it's midnight and I have to be at the bakery at 8AM, getting the phone & internet hook up. So I will contiune the saga, of how I got to this point.