Anybody out there a professional baker?

By susannahm Latest Activity February 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm Views 1,959 Replies 11 Likes 2


Hi, I was diagnosed several years ago with osteoarthritis in my hands and right knee. Right now it is under control pretty well, though I have a lot of morning stiffness. Eventually I am going to need a right knee replacement but I am taking it one day at a time. My doctor wants me to wait a few years anyway. Anyway, my question is it a total pipe dream for me to want to go to culinary school? I would love love love to bake professionaly but I'm not sure if I could withstand the rigors of culinary school. The classes would be taught at a local community college, including some on-line classes, so I could proceed at my own pace. I torn between wanting to follow my dream and feeling too old (I'm 52) and worn out at times. Other than my arthritis, I have no health issues. Any opinions out there?

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Replies (11 replies)

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  • susannahm
    susannahm March 10, 2013 at 8:40 pm   

    Thanks everyone for the responses! Sorry it took so long to get back, have been without a computer for a while. After doing some research, and talking to my doctor, I've decided to go ahead and pursue my dream! I realize that I may not be able to work in a fast-paced environment like our local Costco bakery (not that I'd want to, would prefer a place where I could be more creative than just cranking out products a corporation determines), but I will modify things if I have to. I did go talk to a couple of local bakers, they were both really pretty positive. One is re-opening his bakery in a month and has adapted it so it is more "user friendly". I guess that is the new wave of bakeries in the future, whether remodeling or building a new bakery. Another baker in another small bakery told me the same thing, they are hoping to update in a couple of years. I will see how it goes, and I can always tweak my degree to include a couple extra classes for restaurant/bakery management if things don't work out like I want them to. If I don't at least try, I'll always wonder. And if nothing else, I'll be the most qualified counter person they've ever had! ;)

  • Anth 13
    Anth 13 March 7, 2013 at 7:32 am   

    Hi, i say go for it. The day we stop going for it is a sad one indeed. Modify modify modify & if your determined you can do anything! If you cant well you at least tried a new thing in life. Win win i say :)

  • susannahm
    susannahm March 10, 2013 at 8:40 pm   

    Thanks, I agree!!!

  • Kelseymarie
    Kelseymarie February 25, 2013 at 10:01 am   

    I am not a professional baker by any means but I love baking! It is an outlet for me to escape pain. I have family members who are professional bakers and chiefs. It is a lot of work, however, if it is your dream who is to say you cannot do it. Today there are hundreds of tools that can assist you in adapting baking to fit your needs. You may need to invest in those tools as a bakery may not have them. Usually pior to graduation you have to complete an internship. You could find one that is willing and able to adjust to your needs. If you do great at the internship most companies will hire you on. Another option could be running a small baking service out of your home (some states require you do it out of a seperate kitchen than a home due to codes so you will need to check) and you
    could take on only what you could handle.
    Age does not matter when it comes to fullfilling dreams. My godmother went to school at the age of 65 to get her under graduate and graduate degree.

  • susannahm
    susannahm March 10, 2013 at 8:41 pm   

    Thanks for your reply, Kelseymarie. I had checked into baking out of my home, but right now our state law requires using a commercial kitchen, though there is talk of that changing in the future.

  • sparklyhthr
    sparklyhthr February 25, 2013 at 12:14 am   

    P. S…
    Those big multi tiered cakes are heavy. Really heavy, you could be shifting hundreds of pounds of cakes and ingredients.
    I have OA in my feet. So it would take me a week to recover from the big cakes. Smaller ones were easier.
    And are you good with numbers? You can also research what it takes to run the business aspect of it.
    Let me know?

  • sparklyhthr
    sparklyhthr February 25, 2013 at 12:09 am   

    Hi there!
    I am not a professional baker- but I have made hundreds of cakes. Wedding, shower and others. I haven't been able to do much baking recently. I do love to bake still.
    Just a thought - is there a bakery close by that you could check out? Maybe ask to be an intern - so you can see how things work and if you are able to survive the hectic pace? I would imagine that you can get a good idea of how things are. And whether it is a good fit for you.
    Keep us posted?

  • susannahm
    susannahm March 10, 2013 at 8:42 pm   

    Thanks for the reply…and thank you for suggesting I check out a bakery itself, doubt I would have thought of that!

  • byesk
    byesk February 23, 2013 at 5:56 pm   

    It may be a challenge but if you have the time and money and passion to prpceed in following your dreams, go for it. You only have one life to live. Make it the happiest you can.
    Prayers to you,

  • susannahm
    susannahm March 10, 2013 at 8:43 pm   

    Thank you Bri for your reply. Luckily we don't count on my working to make ends meet, so I'm able to give this a try at least. My husband said to go for it if it makes me happy. :)

  • susannahm
    susannahm February 23, 2013 at 5:45 pm   

    And I should have mentioned, is it possible with someone with OA like I have to hold up to the rigors of being a professional baker!

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