F&W's #FOODWINEWOMEN series spotlights top women in food and drink in collaboration with Toklas Society. Follow the hashtag on Twitter (@foodandwine). Here, baker Erin McKenna—whose latest cookbook, Bread & Butter: Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes to Fill Your Bread Basket, drops today—shares her greatest sacrifices in owning her very popular Babycakes bakery.
It happens every time, without fail. When I tell people what I do, their eyes light up and they say one of two things: “I would be so fat if I owned a bakery!” or “Do you have to get up super early? Like, when it’s dark out?!” My response to the first interrogator is probably not—you’d be way too busy and worried and excited to eat yourself into elastic-waisted longpants and frumpy sweaters. The answer to the second is yes—but not for the obvious reasons. I knew from the moment I decided to open my own bakery that I would have much to sacrifice, and it turns out the commitment to pure baking hours is actually the least of it. This is not a cautionary exercise meant to frighten, because believe me as a bakery owner you would/will love every minute of every day, just as I do. But here are the things you’ll need to fear far more than the dark: