Career Dive: Baking

Tearia Anderson starts off every morning with empty pans and pounds of cake batter. By mid-day, she is assembling and decorating cakes extravagant enough to stand proudly at a wedding, or simple enough to bring a smile to a two-year-old’s face. Around 6 p.m., she cleans off the counters, preps the batter for the next day, and locks the doors of her cake shop on the way out. This is what the average day of a baker and small business owner looks like.

Anderson is the perfect example of someone who pursued a passion in the food industry. Despite being self-taught in baking, she has been successfully running her own cake baking and decorating business in Carrollton for years. She meets around 30 to 40 clients a day, something that me and my social anxiety could never handle. These clients come into her store for a variety of reasons, providing Anderson with new ideas and challenging designs on a daily basis.

It started with a single cooking class from Michaels, and from there, Anderson has seen the opening of her own business in Plano. When she later relocated to Carrollton, her business started to boom as customers flooded in to try the cakes from her increasingly popular shop, Queene Cakes. Party favors, wedding cakes, birthday cupcakes and even a cake in the shape of Homer Simpson are just a small portion of the variety of orders Anderson has received. 

However, the process of setting up her cake shop was not nearly as sweet as the cakes that came as a result. In the beginning, funding for her cake shop was hard to come by. When she finally received funding, advertising her business proved to be another challenge. Through all the initial burdens of starting a business, Anderson stuck to her passion of baking, knowing it would pay off in the end.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the projected growth for bakers in the U.S. will be 5% from 2019 to 2029. This is faster than the average growth rate of occupations in the U.S, which came as kind of a surprise to me because I personally don’t know many bakers. Although it’s not yet mainstream, a baking and decorating career is growing in fast demand. For those who want to pursue baking, or the food industry in general, the educational path is minimal enough that one could open their own food establishment or hold a steady culinary job before the age of 30. 

Although starting salary is low and there are complications with opening a business, someone as passionate as Anderson should feel confident pursuing the food industry. I find the profuse client interaction daunting, but those who have no problem talking to people with unique requests can find this occupation enjoyable. When asked what she would tell a student who was afraid of the risks, she explained that, “It is definitely worth it and rewarding. It does take a lot of hard work and dedication to do something, but if that is your true passion, definitely go ahead and do it.”