A passion for baking comes to life.
When I was a young boy in elementary school, my mother always gave me a batch of homemade treats for the entire class on my birthday which was customary at that time. After a while, I realized, though, that my mother’s birthday treats were always far superior to the ones my classmates brought. Somewhat perplexed, I remember asking my friends, “Your mom made this? I wasn’t being mean . . . I just assumed everybody’s mom made birthday treats as well as mine, but that wasn’t the case. My mother’s treats were truly extra special, unique and extraordinary.
Year after year, her treats became increasingly popular, and my classmates asked if I would bring them in for other events. Not one to deny my fellow classmates the delicious bounty of friendship, I obliged. So for various occasions, my mother made everything from scratch, always using her most favorite ingredients she especially adored the delightful graciousness of chocolate and sent me off to school with me having no idea these would one day become a passion of mine.
After I grew older, though, and went away to college and entered the working world, baking with my mother became a distant, fond memory. And not long after, sadly, she passed away. Whenever I found myself missing her, I would pull out her recipes and bake her favorite things with the same love, care and attention she put into her baking whenever we were in the kitchen together. What I happily discovered was a newfound level of joy, peacefulness and satisfaction that came from doing this.
Since I learned to bake like her, from spending years helping, I thought I should start sharing these grand things with others and share that joy. If her treats were always a hit with the students, and we’re all kids at heart, why wouldn’t they be loved by adults, too? That’s when I started baking items for friends and colleagues, giving them out as gifts and for special occasions. And after a time, I gained a reputation for having these amazing “ovenly delights” with many people asking me to make a variety of items for their events and functions.
But it wasn’t until a recent high school reunion that I realized the real calling for these confections of sweet elegance and exceptional taste. Prior to the reunion, a former classmate emailed me and asked if I would bring my mom’s “Surprise Fudge Cakes” that I used to bring to school for my birthdays. I was so touched that she remembered those after 30 years, and I thought, if that person remembered after this long, then I must have something special to offer. And, thus, I was inspired to start Bakers Man Chicago in March, 2012, to offer products made with my own favorite ingredients based on my travels around the world. I truly hope you will find them as delightful and memorable as I have.