November 29th, 2012
If you live in the Nelson region then there’s a good chance that the bread you’re having for breakfast this morning was produced by Robbie of Quality Bakers.
While the rest of us sleep, Robbie, 23, works tirelessly until 3am – helping to churn out over 20,000 fresh loaves of bread for distribution across Nelson, and now following the earthquakes parts of Christchurch.
“The hours are tough. They’re not very sociable. But I enjoy seeing the end result – seeing the finished product ready to be sent out.”
Robbie’s passion for baking was first sparked back in high school through taking cooking and home economics classes. And knowing that this was what he wanted to do, Robbie left school at 16 after being accepted into a job at Fresh Choice bakery.
“I knew there was a craft baking apprenticeship going so I showed that I was interested in it. The bakery manager rang me up one day and called me in for some questions. A few weeks later I moved department and became an apprentice.”
Four years on Robbie became a qualified craft baker. But he wasn’t finished. “I wanted to try something new and see the other side of baking – so I moved to Quality Bakers, one of Goodman Fielder’s brands.”
Now, another year down the track and Robbie is also a qualified plant baker specialising in bread. “Training has definitely helped me and I would recommend it to everyone. If you want to pursue a baking career you just have to put up your hand, go to your local bakery.”
And Robbie still hasn’t finished with training, proving that learning really is lifelong. “I wouldn’t mind some leadership courses going forward.”