A couple of weeks ago, right after I’d come back from vacation, Dave left me a message at 6:30am. I didn’t get it until 7:30am. I was on my way to NYC to meet with a candidate to lead Finance at Clover. Dave’s message sounded urgent and said “call me.”
So I found out that we had no bread. None. Chris had left for paternity leave over the weekend, the team baking the bread had an issue turning the oven on the night before and unable to reach Chris had left. So we had no bread going into the day. None. And all of the people who knew how to bake were asleep.
I canceled my meeting in NYC, turned around, and headed to the HUB. There I faced a bunch of equipment I’d never used. I didn’t have a recipe. I didn’t know how to use the equipment. I didn’t have a team. Jermyn, who was running the Kitchen production that day lent me two of his staff. I called in a few other folks. And we started figuring out how to bake.
We got bread out to all of the locations in time for lunch service. Sort of a miracle. But that first day was pretty back breaking. I think I was at it for 14+ hours. And baking is muscle work, something I hadn’t appreciated. Our pita were OK but not great. By the end of the week they were something special. We’ve been tweaking the process since and our cost is coming in line with expectations, the bread is better and better, and we’re starting to develop stable systems and processes that will support some of the ideas we have for the future. And nobody is running out of bread.
You can come by the HUB to see us baking daily. We start around 2pm and finish up between 8pm and 11pm depending on how many batches we bake.
And if you have baking experience and want to be a part of helping Massachusetts grow grain, and making the best pita in the country, please let us know. We have 2 more lead baking positions we’re looking to fill.