Ever since early childhood years Lauren has expressed a desire to become a pastry chef.
In school I paid Lauren some $$ for each "A" on her report card, which to be honest became very expensive, when in the US all she brought home was straight A's. Yes, there was a bonus attached to a straight "A" report card. Very expensive, let me tell you.
We were pretty sure that in her teenage years there will be a change of mind and Lauren will go to university which would have been a breeze for her. No matter what she does, Lauren does it well. So university would have been the logic choice.
But no, she did not change her mind and at age 16 I shipped her off to Austria where she could take part in my friend's bakery near Vienna and maybe he would make her work so hard and wake Lauren up at ungodly hours, which I was sure would change her career choice.
Ehm, not. Lauren showed up daily at 6am, six weeks long, or whenever the boss told her to be there. And this was an unpaid gig, food and accommodations only and she toughed it out. And loved it. All hopes for a brain surgeon daughter lost....
The following fall we moved back to Calgary and Lauren finished High school in a flash (online to boot) so she could apply at SAIT's Pastry & Baking course.
I asked Lauren what she would say to the teacher who interviewed for the course and her logic response was she wants to start a gluten free bakery to explore that much needed niche one day.
Needless to say she got accepted and got going with Gusto on the course at SAIT. Though Lauren kept mentioning her desire about GF baking, she kept telling us that the response from her teaching staff was luke warm at best. Celiacs disease was just not on SAIT's radar at that time. Too small a market for them to introduce some courses within the course? She was getting frustrated but kept up her learning.
After the first year at SAIT Lauren felt she would learn more, experience more and contribute more to her goal of GF baking if she would quit the course at SAIT and start a business with her mother. I was not the happiest about this decision, but I know that she inherited an incredible stubbornness from her mother and I would loose this battle. So I never started one. (I have been bloodied before in this family).
So GF PATISSERIE was born in humble beginnings at the Bearspaw Farmers' Market last May and it grew quickly into what it is today. Still a Micro business, but a well known one within the Celiacs community and beyond. And growing fast.
Besides getting a really great response from loyal customers and peers alike, maybe the most validating reward is that SAIT now keeps sending teaching staff and students alike to GF Patisserie to check out their excellent gluten free baked goods.
SAIT over the years has turned out some great success stories in many of their offered courses,
from oil & gas to the hospitality industry and I would think that Lauren ranks right up there as as a girl with guts who got out and did it. "Stop talking, start walking." I know she made her chefs at SAIT proud.
Lauren is a trailblazer and sometimes recognition comes late. But better than never.