Hi everyone, Kate here.... we wanted to take this opportunity for our clients to get to know us better, as well as share decorating videos, and highlight special projects.
I’ll kick off our first blog with something about my self. I am a pastry chef who is ALLERGIC to FLOUR!!!!!
Years of exposure to anything can ignite an allergic reaction, mine started with an itchy throat and a tight chest whenever I worked with flour. Like any typical chef, I pushed through it and ignored my symptoms , told myself I was fine. One day, I refilled our restaurant’s flour, emptying a 50 lb bag of flour into an open plastic bin, just like I always did. An hour later, I had trouble breathing and had hives all over.
After a quick trip to the emergency room and epinephrine, I was told I had an anaphylactic reaction and needed allergy testing. Of all the things I could possibly dread, having just started a new Bakery Business, was to learn that I was in fact allergic to flour.
You might be thinking, “well that’s a shame, she can’t eat it, but at least she can still bake”...if only.
I actually have something called baker’s asthma which basically means that I have an allergic reaction to the flour in the air.
Upon asking an Allergy Specialist what my options were, I was told plainly .... to find a different career!
Now I don’t want to make anyone depressed with my journey down this road, because obviously this story has a positive outcome. So a long story short......
I was determined to continue my baking career and my 15 years of experience that I had put in. My clever husband came up with a great idea, allowing me to continue baking. You know those masks with the filters that construction workers use when they work with hazardous air particles? Well that’s what I rock with pride when I work with flour.
Its really not as bad as all that, once the flour is wet, all is safe and obviously decorating with buttercream is a non-issue. My business partner Phay is also very supportive of my situation.
I also have an opportunity to amuse myself with coworkers and speak like Darth Vader with a muffled deep voice and exaggerated breathing beneath my mask.
“Why is she sharing all of this” you ask yourself. I will tell you very simply.... I absolutely love what I do. I am committed to my work in a unique way, devoted to desserts and pastries 100% percent, and I won’t let anything get in the way of that. So when you are looking for someone to make your wedding cake, you want someone who is all in! And who looks fabulous in a respirator mask!
Until next time,
- Kate Repko
co-owner Sugar Bake Shoppe