Approaching bakeries for work experience
Hi all, I'm at the point where some time (even just a day) in a bakery will really help inform me of whether the dream of baking full time can be a reality or not. I wanted to ask what you all think the best approach should be when asking around for this kind of work placement / work experience?
I know from my current employment how hard it is to accommodate visits from wannabes so would like to do everything I can to make my application seem more acceptable.
I've been a home baker for around 25 years, I have a current level 2 food hygiene certificate (I'm in the UK..) and can provide my own bakers whites. I'm not looking to get hands on product, I'm more interested in seeing the workflow of a typical day and just asking questions. I'd be happy helping out with cleaning or whatever is needed.
There aren't that many places I can apply to, so don't want to be dismissed out of hand. What would convince you to allow someone into your business to learn?
First thing is to be positive, doors won't open unless you can see them. When I first got into baking, back in 2009 I did just as you are looking to do and helped out during the night shift at a bakery. Unless the mood music has changed, I'd be surprised if you weren't welcomed with open arms, more hands on deck is always a good thing!
Myself, I contacted just one bakery, Judges in Hastings. I wrote to them as I was captivated by their commitment to organic production, shortly thereafter I received a reply and within a few days it was all confirmed with details about where to stay at the neighbouring B&B.
It was there I met with Emmanuel Hadjiandreou who has since gone on to become a teacher up in Nottinghamshire. Working that shift with Emmanuel was an enjoyable experience and a good insight into what baking for a living was like.
My advice would be to write an email, clearly, concisely and sincerely in two to three short paragraphs. Find a bakery that you like and describe that in your email and why you want to gain the experience you are looking for. That's it really...
Hope that helps,