I’ve worked in restaurants since the age of sixteen. At the age of forty a co-worker, and friend, coerced me into baking. In his words, he said “you have a passion for it”. Over time I found I truly did love to bake. The thought occurred to me that this love for baking could become the means of starting my own business. At that time I felt I needed to find one confection that I could “make my own”. I determined it would be the brownie.
My experiments started with numerous batches and a wide variety of flavors. Unusual combinations and sinfully decadent would be my gimmick. I tested them on everybody and anybody who was willing to indulge. In my research of home based businesses, I found that my love for pets would be a problem. This was a sacrifice I was not willing to make. My home based brownie business was on hold, but my passion never died.
In the summer of 2008, while enjoying a swim in a backyard pool, a friend of my partners suggested I might bake treats for his beauty shop. I was more than willing to give it a try. It’s a small hair salon with a varied clientele. Of course brownies were at the top of my list. Rick suggested cookies, being a self confessed cookie monster. That same evening I went to work on the list of treats which would become the public’s first exposure to the Bear Naked Baker.
Monday morning I began baking my sweet treats. By late afternoon my “goodies” were baked, bagged, labeled, and ready for a Tuesday morning delivery. When Rick arrived home from work that evening, the dining room table was overflowing with baked goods. He was sure I had been a bit too enthusiastic. None the less, Tuesday late morning, my delivery was made. We were both pleasantly surprised when we received a phone call Thursday to let us know everything had been sold.
At that time we were both working full time jobs. I often spent twelve hours at my bakery manager position…plus travel time. I sensed that perhaps we had “bitten off more cookie than we could chew”. Our home kitchen is small and gallery style with a single, electric oven. However, it’s been two years to the month and all things have seemed to work out well. Cookies have become my new passion. Patrons of the salon also keep me busy with special requests for breads, cakes, and yes…sometimes brownies.
Always adventurous, in 2010 I decided to try my luck at our local Lebanon County Fair. I entered four cookies and a whoopie pie. To my surprise, each cookie took first place in its’ category and the whoopie pie placed third. Earlier this year we decided that if self-employment was to be my goal, I would need to further my education.
So, here I am today, enrolled in the Pastry Arts Program and learning more about the craft I love. I’m determined to do my best and become a top notch baker.
One day soon, fingers crossed and cookie monster in tow, there will be a store front bakery with a sign over the door that reads…Chuck Deets the Bear Naked Baker.