Red Ape Cinnamon logo in black
Albemarle Baking Co

Albemarle Baking Co

Albemarle Baking Co

Gerry Newman
Owner

Why did you decide to open a bakery or how did you get started in this industry?  i.e. What’s your story?

I was living in the Palm Springs area in 1981 trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life.  I was doing a lot of baking for friends at that time and thought that would be a good direction.  I completely stumbled into an apprenticeship with a Swiss Master in Long Beach, CA.  I thought I would learn what I needed to know in six months, four years later I moved to the San Francisco area and six years later moved to Virginia to work at the Homestead, then a family owned 5 star hotel in Warm Springs.  A year later I moved to Charlottesville to be the Pastry Chef at the Boar’s Head Inn.  Four years later, my wife and I opened Albemarle Baking Co where we have baked for Charlottesville for the past 25 years.

What is your favorite item to make and why?

I love making baguettes. Four simple ingredients, every aspect of fermentation and baking come through. Shaping takes practice, and if you are honest with yourself the perfect baguette is one of the more elusive things in baking.

Any advice to new bakers?

Accept the fact that you have entered a profession where you will be learning for the rest of your life.  Even what seems at the time to be a bad job will have things that will make you a better baker.  As a friend of mine once wrote: “Embrace the challenges of organizing your life around quasi-abnormal hours, the idea of repeatedly doing great and precise work, and the wonderful fact that you’re joining the ranks of some very awesome and interesting individuals.”

Any funny stories/anecdotes?

I’m sure there are a few, some even printable, but I can’t think of one right now.

Fermensch Kombucha

Fermensch Kombucha

Fermensch Kombucha

Chad Huniu
Co-Founder + CEO

Why did you decide to create Kombucha or how did you get started in this industry? i.e. What’s your story?

I first tried kombucha at a house part in Eugene, Oregon, because that’s the kind of thing that happens at a house party in Eugene, Oregon. I fell in love with the sour flavor and the real benefits I could feel in my body. I was so fascinated by the process of fermentation that I started experimenting on my own back in Orange County, CA. One thing led to another after that, and I quickly found myself fermenting for restaurants, a local kombucha bar, and finally founding Fermensch Kombucha with my father in 2016.

What is your favorite item to make and why?

I love to create new seasonal flavors. Finding beautiful peak season stone fruit at the farmers market or trying something wacky like shaving sticks of palo santo into a batch and seeing what happens brings me a lot of joy. One of our recent favorites was the Apple Cinnamon, made with Red Ape’s incredibly delicious cinnamon chips.

Any advice to new creators?

It’s okay to be afraid. But do it anyway. Try things. Be different. And act quick. Things change at breakspeed paces in this age.

Independent Baking

Independent Baking

Independent Baking

Kevin Scollo
Owner & Baker

Why did you decide to open a bakery or how did you get started in this industry? i.e. What’s your story?

I grew up baking bread with my Italian grandparents, so bread was always a huge part of my childhood. I didn’t realize I was going to pursue baking as a career, but when I was working as a line cook at a hotel in NYC, I realized that baking might be for me. One evening, I stayed behind with the baker at the hotel and baked with her throughout the night. It was magical. The baker ended up deciding to move back home to Italy, so I convinced the pastry chef at the hotel to take me on as a baker! Then I worked at a couple other bakeries in the city before deciding to make the leap and own my own business. It’s been a strange but rewarding first year of owning a business!

What is your favorite item to make and why?

I love making baguettes. They are fun to shape, bake, and eat! They are one of those items that when the stars align and everything goes perfectly, there’s nothing better.

Any advice to new bakers?

Take your time learning. Spend a good amount of time mixing before you move onto shaping and then before you move onto baking. Baking is repetitious, so consistency is key in a good baker. That only happens with time.

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