I’ve interviewed hundreds of bakers, but this was the first one who—during our visit and without prompting—tucked into some cookies and milk just for the simple pleasure of it. A Zen moment. Ahh…bakery life is good!
story & photos by Bakery Boy
After countless encounters with bakers, a recent incident came as a most pleasant surprise. It happened during my interview with Stuart and Anissa Shull at their Tellico Grains Bakery in Tellico Plains, Tennessee (click here to see the full story).
At the moment, Anissa was telling me about their family life, about raising two small daughters in a small bakery in a small town, while she rolled pastry dough and scooped fruit filling and folded turnovers. Jotting in my notebook, I glanced over toward Stuart, who was studiously monitoring the temperature of the bakery’s prized wood-burning brick oven.
Just then Stuart—quietly and without me prompting him for a photo opportunity or whatever—poured himself a glass of milk, grabbed a few chocolate chip cookies off a warm pan, and started having a little snack.
My jaw dropped. My pen froze in place. This was bakery life at its best. Here was a baker, unaware that anyone was watching, enjoying the fruits of his labor—enjoying a Zen moment on the job. Stuart dipped a cookie in the milk and took a bite before noticing that I’d grabbed my camera and zoomed in on him.
He broke into a crumb-flecked grin. Classic!
105 Depot Street
Tellico Plains, TN 37385