I re-listened to my talk with Joanne Chang (shipped earlier this month) while walking around central London with Cindy. It was quite a contrast visiting tiny, owner/head baker enterprises while listening to a woman who has built a network of Flour Bakeries all around Boston, with (seemingly) no end in sight.
Joanne is a fixture in the Boston baking scene and beyond. She’s a winner of the James Beard award, runs the Meyers+Chang restaurant with her husband, recently published her fourth cookbook, and just announced the ninth location of Flour Bakery. Jeepers!
I’m fascinated by people like Joanne, because while I may have dreams of writing four books, I am not even writing a blog post per week. And I have no idea how (or even why) to open nine locations of a bakery - running a single location was all I could seem to handle. So it was a thrill to talk to herand learn more about how she thinks.
And the coolest thing I learned? What she is doing today, running a mini baking empire, is as fascinating as figuring out morning production. It really is.
(Too many spoilers? Take a break and listen to the show! You can listen to the show on your favourite podcast app, from the Rise Up! podcast website or using the handy audio app at the end of this post.)
She expands so that she can keep her staff long term, giving them opportunities to continue to grow while staying at Flour. And while she no longer has to figure out morning production, she is focused on more important matters, like company culture, branding and designing new products.
I loved this talk. So often we (ok, not you, but me at least) think of the business side of baking as a necessary evil, or even just plain evil. We just want to make the products and work with our hands.
Joanne helped me see the joy that one can get from running something bigger. Sure, it’s not for everyone, but by talking with Joanne, it’s easy to hear the joy in her voice about what she’s doing today. I don’t see her running out of energy and joy any time soon.
I hope you take the time to listen to this episode. There are lots of nuggets of hope and opportunity here.