The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Occupation Questions

Eli's picture

Occupation Questions

I am just curious as to what kind of professional backgrounds people have? It seems that many are computer, technical backgrounds.

Just curious with the demographics.


Grey's picture

I'm currently a student in Computer science, I'm also kind of interested in hearing what sort of people are around here,

AnnieT's picture

Little old lady in white tennis shoes here! Actually retired from owning a needlework store and working as a home health aide and for an ear nose and throat specialist. Now happily helping out with childcare ( 2 grandaughters), tutoring in the 9 year old's class, quilting and baking far too much bread. I live on lovely Whidbey Island in Washington, 30 minutes by ferry to the mainland, A.

Eli's picture

Guess I should respond to my own question. I was a litigation technology consultant for large litigation law firms, specializing in courtroom antics, etc.

Trishinomaha's picture

I am a corporate relocation director for a large real estate company here in Omaha. We work with companies who transfer employees from one location to another - help get their homes sold when they leave the metro area and help new folks relocating to our area.

staff of life's picture
staff of life

Before I started baking bread to sell, I was a F/T mom to 3 kids.  And before that, a college drop-out, and before that, a French major.  While I was majoring in French, people occasionally asked me if I thought I would ever use my French, and I truthfully thought Spanish would have been a better idea.  But today I don't use Spanish at all and the French sure comes in handy!  Vive le pain!


cordel's picture

I am a retired highschool English teacher.  Now I teach Taoist Tai Chi, deliver Meals on Wheels, garden, ski, kayak and bake bread.

Floydm's picture

I'm a web developer.

sphealey's picture

My son is receiving college material and Floyd's description of himself reminds me of the inside cover of the catalog from Columbia University:  "John Jay, Ruth Bader Ginsberg: jurists.  Harold Urey: chemist.  Isaac Asimov: author.".  Understatement is always preferred when appropriate!


Floydm's picture

My favorite Simpsons line, seen on a banner at the Reader's Digest headquarters:

Brevity is... wit.

holds99's picture

Currently retired but was formerly product marketing director for Software A.G. of North America; relational databases and productivity software.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

mrpeabody's picture

Mostly full time research.  Some limited lectures (to Veterinary students and the occasional undergrad course). A specialty of mixed things (therefore master of none) --  Biochemistry/Pharmacology/Neuroscience/Molecular Biology

Mr. Peabody

P.S. I picked the nickname because I was a big fan as a kid.  Mr. Peabody is my kind of scholar.

Trishinomaha's picture

Mr. Peabody was cool and way before his time...


PeterS's picture

One guy called me Sherman at college because he didn't get my name right and it stuck for as long as I was in the dorm. Of course, my roommate became Mr. Peabody--deservedly so, he was brilliant :))  I am a chemist by training.

Paddyscake's picture

I'm an Radiologic Technologist with an advanced board certification in Mammography.
In a nutshell..supervisor for about 30 peeps.

I always loved Rocky & Bullwinkle, Boris & Natasha & Mr. Peabody!

ehanner's picture

I transitioned out of the Air Force from a rescue outfit to commercial aviation. After 30 years converting kerosene to noise I retired and started a computer consulting and support business. That's the short story.


PaddyL's picture

I lived and worked in Dublin, Ireland for three years, managing the coffee shop at the Dublin Zoo, and drawing.  My sister and I ran a small home-catering business for a while, catering mostly for small parties and doing a private meals-on-wheels type run for shut-ins.  I still draw, paint, knit, crochet, embroider, and make bread, lots of bread, and cakes and cookies and French pastry.  If I couldn't bake, I think I'd crawl into a corner and die!

mcs's picture

OK, formerly a baker, teacher, coach, log builder (with lots of job overlap going on) and now a baker again. As Eric says, that's the short story.


Marni's picture

I taught first and second grade until my first son was born almost 12 1/2 years ago.  I have been on "maternity leave"  since then, though I really don't plan to return to teaching.  I am a stay at home mom, wife, and just in the past six months or so, as my youngest spend part of their day in school, have become the editor of an online magazine- .


GrapevineTXoldaccount's picture

My first real job put me into telecommunications, from there I danced around in the airspace arena and later, moved into analysing product offerings that fit international site specs and regulations.  And then the most amazing thing happened.  I discoverd that being a number wasn;t the most rewarding way to set about ones day.  I was fortunate, afforded the opporunity to return home to raise my children. Six months ago I learned about sourdough, and more rently about the cupcake revival that seems to be hitting parts of the world.  I'm enjoying creating new recipes, and honing good ones that I find in blogs.  My dream when I grow up?  I want to attend culinary school and focus on the pastry arts. 

dmsnyder's picture

I am a developmental-behavioral pediatrician practicing in a non-profit community organization. I also am on a medical school faculty and teach pediatric residents and medical students.  


PeterS's picture

Your grace and skill responding to some of the more, let's say, edgy posts here hasn't gone unnoticed ;)

edh's picture

I'm a part time woodworker, part time all-around fill-in-as-needed for a non-profit community development organization. My shop is very cold in the winter, so bread has become a welcome hobby, especially in the coldest months!


verminiusrex's picture

I was a screenprinter for 8 years, until I became a stay at home dad 6 years ago.  Several years ago I took up bread baking as a hobby, and eventually learned how to make some pretty good bread and most recently, bagels. 

hullaf's picture

Re-tire, literally, as my feet do hurt once in a while from standing to bake bread all day long! I worked for 35 years as a hospital float nurse until my back ached. I grew up in the rural midwest, moved around with husband's job, and settled in the south in a city, but moved to a little farm five years ago. Back to my roots, so baking bread is like coming home. 


Oldcampcook's picture

I retired from the Air Force in 1978. Worked as executive for several non-profit organizations.  Retired on Social Security about 6 years ago.  I got bored and went into security work.  Am presently security supervisor for a large oil company.

I started baking about a year or so ago and bake every weekend and, during the week, feed my collection of starters that people send me.


Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark


I'm a possessed bread maker. I was a transportation manager for the Bank of America Courier Department. When the BofA out sourced our department several years ago, I decided I was through working and since then have been trying to improve my photography, golf game, and now, bread making.

P.S Paddyscake, my wife is also a Radiologic Technologist, now retired from the University of California



MaryinHammondsport's picture

I've been around the block I guess. Here's the short version.

My education was a Masters in Research Methodology and Statistics, and I worked in that capacity for public schools and the National Education Association, before I retired to raise our daughter (who is now 40, so that was a while ago.)

My husband and I owned a gem and mineral shop in Oregon, in the 1970s. Great experience. Though I'm an Eastener, I loved the Northwest.

I've worked in IT at various times.

Abut 18 years ago I carved out a career for myself writing and self-publishing needlework books, and teaching in that field. I've taught classes in color and design for needlework on the internet, which is an exciting experience, and can be very draining. Now, because I have some hand problems, I don't even DO needlework anymore, so I bake as often as I can.

Mary Shipp - Mary in Hammondsport

rainbowbrown's picture

I am, at present, an unemployed student.  Up until a couple of months ago I worked at a dentist office doing the sterilization, and will be doing it again come summer time.  I also do odd jobs...I got a babysitting gig a couple weeks back and I sold two loaves of bread last week.  Horray.

colinwhipple's picture

Actually, an accountant.  I am a CPA with my own small office.

If I sometimes seem to audit recipes, I came by the tendency honestly.


AbbyL's picture

I'm a teacher. I'd like to know what "FoolishPoolish" does... she writes so well.



Rosalie's picture

I've always worked in computers, even my most menial jobs.  I started programming in the sixties in college.  Today I am fortunate to be in a position where I don't have to work, but my parttime job still keeps me tied to a computer.  And altogether too much of my own time at home is still spent on the computer.  (But I DO do other things....)


cnlindon's picture

For a large Japanese company since 1995. Owned a catering business for a couple of years. I've been in college on and off since 1989. My interests change with the wind, but lean toward engineering/technical....except for cooking.


Bushturkey's picture

I work as a General Practitioner (Family Physician) at remote communities - hence the nom de plume.

I, too, gew up on Roger Ramjet, Rocky and Bullwinkle and Batfink (and Karate!).

maxamilliankolbe's picture

I got my degree in Philosophy, but it would have been Spanish, Theology, and Religious Education as well but I just had to get married that summer... I was only a class or a thesis short of each. Oh, well... I can't say it wasn't worth it!

My husband and I have been doing online retail for the last few years, but I started out teaching high school Spanish. Lately we've been thinking that we might cut back a bit on the retail and do something we both love. He has his Masters in Counselling (though he's better in Philosophy and I'm the one better in Counselling) and Boys Town in Omaha is looking for people to work with the kids the get, so... maybe that's the next thing we'll do. If we do get the job, boy, I'll really need to get a Bosch or a DLX. We'll have 6-8 kids to feed!


Oh, and just to clarify... My name is Eva, and Maximillian Kolbe is a guy I admire.  I can just imagine the gender confusion I created using that name.   Sorry. 

Floydm's picture

I'm familiar with Maximilian Kolbe, having visited Oświęcim the last time we were in Poland, but, yeah, I assumed since you used a male handle you were a fella.

Interesting background. Though I'm in computers, I actually studied patristics in college. Fascinating stuff, just not a terribly lucrative field.

maxamilliankolbe's picture

What college? I should freshen up in the area of Patristics. My husband says we should name our first son Athanasius... mmm...maybe not. I'm sure he's kidding.

I, too, have been to Oświęcim. I had wanted to go to Wadowice but didn't make it there.



Floydm's picture

I've never been to Wadowice, but we spent a couple of weeks in Krakow the last time we visited dstroy's grandmother, who lives in Warszawa. We're hoping to get over there with the kids in the next year or two, though I think we will skip the concentration camps until they are older.

Heh... Athanasius would be quite a mouthful for a toddler to learn.

I went to Reed. Though it is consistently ranked the least religious college in the country, it has a very good religion department. I did my thesis on Origen and Gregory of Nyssa and why, though they share quite a few ideas, one is a heretic and the other a saint.

maxamilliankolbe's picture

Sounds like a great thesis. For the life of me I can't remember mine. I turned it in the day I left school to get married. You can imagine I wasn't thinking too much about the paper.

Reed sounds like a good school. I went to Franciscan Univ. of Steubenville. I don't trust "top ten" lists as a rule. For example, I'm quite positive my alma mater belongs on the list above Notre Dame.

Anyway, its been nice meeting you. I'd love to chat more about these things, but I fear I'm coming dangerously close to creating a thread within a thread. (sorry all)

Trishinomaha's picture

It's a beautiful campus and Omaha is a wonderful city. I can send you more information on our city if you like (I am a relocation director...). You can contact me at tnelsonATnpdodgeDOTcom.


maxamilliankolbe's picture

Thanks, Trish -- We already live in Papillion  :)  If we were to work at Boys Town, we would live on campus since we would be family teaching couples and would have 6-8 kids to care for.  Thanks for the offer, though!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and was making plaster models for a plastic firm when I met my husband. His job takes us around the world installing turbines for alternative energy: water, wind and now, tidal. I get a kick out of new locations, cultures, and food (grew up in the Air Force.) I dive head first into life and try to enjoy the subtle things. the sunshine on my back as I type. Although I'm a US citizen, I think I've morphed into a World citizen and appreciate all it's complexities.

Oh, and I like to experiment with bread.

Mini O

mammiesbaker's picture

It is fascinating reading about all the bakers in this forum.  I am just a senior citizen who bakes a Russian Rye Bread for a little restaurant Mammies Cubbard.  My husband and I grow much of our own food in our large garden.  I bake all the bread we eat...right now a sourdough and a ciabatta.

PaddyL's picture

Having just read the links you posted, Floyd, I am surprised that Origen is not a saint, along with Gregory.  I'm so glad I found this site, not just for the sourdough information, but for the good general education I'm finding.  Thanks!

maxamilliankolbe's picture

Floyd can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the way it worked out was that when Origen was alive, there were two schools (perhaps more) of thought, and when it came down to defining the subject, it was determined that Origen's philosophy/theology was deemed not wholly accurate, which is why it would be heresy. Though I don't believe he persisted in heresy, many people afterwards read his writings followed them rather than was was determined to be the more accurate philosophy.  One of the conditions for being canonized is to not have written anything contrary to defined doctrine.  If he persisted in writing contrary to what was defined, that would be why he wasn't canonized.

Floydm's picture

Something like that. Origen participated in what he called "speculative theology," sort of riffing on cool ideas. One of the ideas he riffed on was apokatastasis, the idea that there will be a final salvation of everything (all things came from the One, therefore they must all return to the One). One of the implications of that is the potential salvation of the Devil, heretics, and all other evil-doers. Many people, including those in power, didn't like this, and he had other questionable ideas and connections, so over time his name fell into disrepute. However, he remains quite influential in the history of ideas.

Gregory of Nyssa played with the same idea, but he softened it some, went from saying "therefore the devil will be saved" to something more like "we can pray that the devil too will be saved." His big brother also happened to be Basil the Great, so though he may have been playing with theological fire, he had powerful friends and family to keep his reputation clean.

Later theologians came up with the idea of Purgatory to explain how naughty people can still be saved, though whether all evil-doers will be saved is still something that is debated. Hans Urs von Balthasar is one of the most recent theologians to take on this dispute.

Drifty Baker's picture
Drifty Baker

I am a chemical engineer and work as the plant manager for a fertilizer company. 

slaughlin's picture

I'm a beekeeping, bread making Physicians Assistant/Nurse Practitioner at a pediatric clinic in Western SD.


Eli's picture

Choosing a kaiser roll recipe and wanted to know which one you would choose? (BBA, Bread and Crumb, Etc.)



PaddyL's picture

I tend to agree with Balthasar; my sister and I, in one of our theological disscussions (when there's nothing on TV and we're between books) decided that since the One is all love, there can't possibly be a hell, that when you die, God will be someone you most hurt, and you will have to face that hurt and get past it.  That, by the way, is one of the most difficult exercises, if not the most difficult - facing one's demons and coming out sane on the other side.  "My God!  I did that to you?!"  Then feel it.  Thanks, Floyd and Max (Eva), for the further insights into this fascinating debate.  Now maybe we should return to the sourdough starters, bubbly or not, and the disparate professions that brought us all together on this site.

bluesbread's picture

1920s-30s-style blues performer, author, teacher

campcook's picture

My occupation is a little hard to explain.  Here is what my business card says:

Experimental Test Pilot, Amateur Generalist, Corporate Gypsy, Spook Look-a-Like, Wild Yeast Farmer, Bio-reaction Attendant, Professional Skeptic, Spirits Disposal Counselor, Verbal Assassin, Opinion Consultant, Change Engineer.


an engineer trying to bake good bread.  Have Nutrimill

Marni's picture

I agree Steve, such wonderful beautiful music. I have always enjoyed the blues. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your talent.


bluesbread's picture

Thank you all for the compliments on my music. Downhome blues and homemade bread go together very well! If anyone is interested in hosting a house concert, contact me through my website or email me at chezztone at gmail. Lots of fun for you and your friends. We can bake and serve fresh bread at the concert! Cheers, SC

Steve Cheseborough

suave's picture

I am a technician at a small chemical company.

Windischgirl's picture

Psychologist on this list?  (don't worry, I'm not analyzing any of you ;-) I'm analyzing my hydration ratios!)

I work in a hospital, training student psychologists; see a few private patients, write technical education materials, some consulting.

Baking and cooking are my therapy...fortunately my hubby and three kids are always hungry.

A bit of a brag: our local library had a bread baking class this weekend, so I went to network.  My daughter, 11 yrs old, jumped in and made a lovely loaf of whole wheat bread...and held her own among the adults who were easily 40+ yrs older.  I think she's a natural! 


Paula F

Philadelphia PA

knit1bake1's picture

I'm a musicologist; I also love many crafts. I'd say that baking is the only one that causes me to gain weight, other than my new hobby, knitting, which also encourages weight gain in that it's hard for me to do it any way than sitting down. Bread making at least consumes some energy. Lately I find it very strange to keep company with people who are NOT obsessed with bread. How can people actually eat "normal" bread?


Rosalie's picture

Beth, don't you find that, when you knit, you can't eat?


ejm's picture

Although... can I really be considered a musician? I play the viola. (heh heh, yet another viola joke... ;-))

Beth, I've wondered how people can eat "normal" bread too - if by "normal", you mean that soft presliced marshmallow-like stuff that is sold in plastic bags at the supermarket.


knit1bake1's picture

Rosalie - when I started knitting 5 months ago, I was sometimes doing it more than 3 hours/day or more (not all at once, of course). I first took it up because I knew it would stop me from eating, but the inactivity is not necessarily good, either.

Re the idea of buying bread in a grocery store. My bread adventure started because I don't like supermarket whole wheat bread. I had baked bread before (and have been eating only homemade pizza for about 25 years), but had not been so serious about it. I recently heard about La Brea bread, and some of the stores here carry it out, but somehow I cannot get myself motivated to buy a sterile loaf of bread - if I can't smell the aroma, I don't want to buy it.



naschol's picture

Retired software engineer, now working part-time as a school bus driver and enjoying life!



Eli's picture

I read in a post on the Pros area where hobbes seems to have gotten his dream job. Earlier I asked what everyone did. Now I wanted to ask what everyone wants to do? Would you change your occupation today if you could? Would you choose to be a famous baker, pastry chef?


holds99's picture

Thanks for sharing your story with us.  From the description of your operation it sounds like you have done a great deal of commercial baking and have a thorough understanding of the business.  Always suspected the margins were low and the work hard and never ending.  But I think dedication and hard work goes with the territory in any business in which you make up your mind you're going to succeed. 

I've always believed that if you're happy in your work, then you're happy at least 2/3 to 3/4 of your waking hours.  No sense spending time doing something you don't enjoy and/or feel is worthwhile.  Anyway, I do thoroughly enjoy home baking.  It's my therapy.

Best to you and happy baking.


EDIT: Sparks, you mentioned Publix supermarkets in your post.  Are you located in Florida?  I'm in St. Augustine.  Just curious.

Grumio's picture


dablues's picture

I was a secretary, now retired.  Love working and playing around with graphics, into bread baking. have dabbled in machine embroidery, love doing tutorials relating to graphics, try to keep busy with the pc.  Know how to install hard drives, and other components on a desktop but now use a laptop and a tablet.

gerhard's picture

I work for the Easter Bunny.




highmtnpam's picture

bomb guy.  I   had a wonderful time being a French Teacher, Mother and camp follower.   Admire those young Army wives!!  two children, but no grandchildren so I may need to borrow some. What an amazing group of people we are!!!  Highmtnpam  Ps I bake at 9200 ft

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

NPR news and classical music announcer/producer.

linder's picture

Retired Computer Programmer - remembers the days when 1 megabyte of memory was the size of a walk in closet.


carefreebaker's picture

Who also baked for caterers and restaurants so I could be a stay at home mother and volunteer. Now I help take care of my first grandchild who will be crawling any day now!

Greg D's picture
Greg D

In order to earn money to buy flour, yeast and salt I work as a lawyer.  35 years as a lawyer but 50+ years as an avid bread baker. 

Thanks Mom!

polo's picture

Six days a week as a foundry foreman, one day a week baking bread. That is, if they let me have the one day off.

This darn economy  :)