Hey guys!! Thank you SO much for coming to visit my page. Baking is my families bread and butter (every pun intended) and it's our passion to bring you every ounce (yes, pun again..hehe) of enjoyment through my baked goods. So, let me answer some common questions you all often ask:
Have you always baked?
Never to sell and before selling I had only ever made a couple loaves of bread and a handful of yeasted items in my life! But, I've always found joy in baking for fun and I grew up around delish scratch baking by my Mom & Step-Mom throughout our childhood so quality and happy memories surrounding quality baked goodies from the heart are instilled in me. Bringing it to others now is just the icing on the cake.
How long have you been doing this?
Up until Covid lockdowns I had been with the same direct sales company selling bags and totes for 8.5 years! I LOVED being around people and doing home parties, plus the bag perks were awesome! However, everything got shut down and all of my home parties cancelled indefinitely. I have never been one to just sit in from of my computer (of course Facebook partying was an option) and people just weren't in the position to spend hard earned money on luxuries so I was under a HUGE amount of stress to pivot and make money. I turned to baking simply to relieve stress and to feed my family something affordable and from the heart while we figured things out. I taught myself how to bake bread and opened a few of my Mom's recipes to bring myself closer to her which had been so hard after her death. Soon after friends and family were asking to buy it and do porch pick ups. Shortly after that my husband built me a driveway stand for selling and not long after that we opened Dan's Farm Shack on 149 as a bricks and mortar to sell from. My business and baking to sell happened by a lovely accident of stress baking too much lol!
Long story short...I'm in my 5th year.
What's next for you? What are your dreams?
You know, I'm asked this more times than I can count. I like to think more along the lines of, "What's now for me." When I think to how everything has happened in my life and the timeliness of it ... it's been no accident. I'm being led in a direction and I intend to follow it. So, what's being placed in front of me now is an AMAZING opportunity to build out a bakery kitchen at Sunnyside & Ridge, diagonal from Bean's Country Store in Queensbury.
I purchased the old Mohican Grange building with my friend, Jennifer Islas, and we fondly nicknamed it "Shake & Bake" for obvious reasons lol. She is doing Zumba & Meditation Yoga while subletting it out for line dancing, events & so much more upstairs. Downstairs is where the baking magic will happen.
My family deserves their home back and a more present Mom and wife. That's what this building will allow for. It's difficult to be present when you're surrounded by the temptations of work all day long and you can't "leave." My dream consists of having my children (13 & 15) and my husband working with me in the new space with properly sized equipment so that I can work less than 12-15 hour days and being able to come HOME to a space that hasn't succumb to a massive take over and is just for relaxing and memory making :) I'm excited to see what passions arise from them while in the new space as well! What an amazing opportunity for my kids!! The rest of the awesomeness that is ahead for me will unfold over time.
Tell us about "a day in the life" of a micro baker
Oh gosh, are you sure you want to know? Haha! It's super demanding and busy but I just love it! If you're passionate about something it's not work anymore as long as those you surround yourself with are equally understanding and supportive. Your positive reviews and feedback help TREMENDOUSLY with my drive & passion so keep that up!
I work 7 days a week (in the summer) around the clock essentially. There's no fairy tale schedule around this labor of love. Prep day I'm up at 9am for my easiest day of the week lasting 8 hours as long as my kids are lending me a helping hand, all dough gets a nice overnight sleep in the fridge where it's baked at 3am the next day, followed by packaging and delivering, followed by another 8 hour prep day starting at 9am and this continues for 6 days. Monday is my shortest with a 3am-9/11am day since I don't prep for being closed Tuesday's. On the 7th day I get to "rest" by doing my budgeting, marketing, phone calls & shopping. That's if I'm closed 3 days a week. I don't know how I ever survived being open 7 days a week when we first started Dan's Farm Shack!
It's important to remember that this is with regular home ovens and small mixers, small counters, etc. I have to be very repetitive and do everything 8x more than if I had commercial sized equipment. The new place will allow me to cut my time easily in half, perhaps even less (as long as I allow it haha) which will be HUGE for our family and the sustainability of this business.
It’s going to be a lengthy process as we have needed to take most of the space down to studs to clean out years and years of yuck before even thinking of the rebuild. We have lots of patience though and will update you as often as we are able.
~Rachael, Dan, Mason & Maddie
Like, share and write a review on my main business page: Rachael's Bread, shop at Dan's Farm Shack and our retail partners: Bean's Country Store, Jacobs & Toney's, Helova Deli & Hilton Family Farmstand.
If we could continue to sell out daily even during our "off season" that would be EPIC and SUCH a huge help!! Usually we drop way off in business in the winter...with your help that doesn't have to happen and will give us all we need to renovate our new building and keep the move in date getting closer and closer!
This is the closing day photo of the "new" space for the bakery kitchen. It's the lower level of Sunnyside & Ridge.
All you see needed to be removed due to pests, water moisture, HVAC issues, ventilation, health codes, etc. It doesn't seem like much to remove but it took months and was especially dirty work.
We are starting 2024 with a clean, pest & moisture free space. Pending finalized sketches for the new bakery kitchen and fire/building code approval we will be able to start building our new dream kitchen this month.
My husband, Dan, is the muscle and has been doing an AMAZING job being meticulous about each step and ensuring it's all done to the highest level of excellence!
It's going to be so wonderful having a new space in a few months that we can be so proud of! If you see him at Dan's Farm Shack this year lend him some words of encouragement as I could not do ANYTHING I do without this amazing husband of mine!