My job is made of dreams. I’m a candy maker, and the tools of my trade are imagination and sugar. I believe in magic. Especially the type of magic brought about by spinning my wildest dreams into something sweet to eat. There’s no way to argue it, magic is responsible for getting me to where I am today. It’s squeezed its way into every facet of my being, and it’s given me the ability to approach daily life with a specific sense of wonder and enchantment—two of the required qualities of a candy maker, I’m certain. There’s very little that I do that I don’t approach with a bright-eyed sense of enthusiasm. And if you’ve heard me speak, have met me at a candy demonstration, or have taken one of my classes, you know that everything I’m saying here is the exact truth: I’m completely wild about making candy.
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t speaking the language of sweets. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t analyzing bites of cookies or spoonfuls of ice cream. Chocolate and frozen treats, cakes and biscuits, candy and cookies, hot fudge and caramel sauce—these are my constants. They are my rewards, my gifts, my consolation prizes, my companions, and my coworkers.
In 2005, armed with a family of recipes and a tireless spirit, I opened my first retail bakery. I had just entered my thirties, I was not yet a mom, and I had just ended a successful career as a marketer for engineers and lawyers. Baking as a job was something I could visualize but never thought of as possible, until I made it possible.
Right from the beginning, the days were long. I opened the business in November, and, leading up to that first Thanksgiving, I was easily spending twenty-two-hour days in the bakery turning out pumpkin pies and nutmeg ice cream. I was so happy to be baking that I wouldn’t even realize when twenty-two hours had ticked by. Elbow deep in sugar, butter, and flour was exactly where I wanted to be.