On Being the Husband of a Baker

I never really thought I’d be the husband of a baker. I don’t think Denisa ever really thought she’d be a baker. She’d thought about it. Toyed with the idea. She’s always loved exploring new bakeries for as long as I’ve known her. She likes to talk to bakers. See what tips they have. Find out what their life is like. And she mentioned in passing a few times that it would be nice to do that.

Last night, when she was working on decorating dozens of Easter cookies, it hit me: I’m married to a baker.

Smarter people than I would have seen the signs earlier, of course. The fact that she bakes 40 or more loaves of bread in a week sometimes. Her tendency to supply bread to other stores, who then mark up that bread and sell it on to other people. The fact that she has a regular client list and a Facebook page I helped her set up. All of these are tell-tale signs that most thinking people would know to recognize. Heck–I even helped her make her logo, and helped come up with the name “Breadweavers.”

So why did it take until now for this all to sink in?

For one thing, the night before, she was actually bakingΒ all those cookies. So it was two nights in a row that she was working hard at this. I sometimes need repeated clues before I pick up on things, and it helps to have those clues repeated close together.

I think the main reason I didn’t pick up on it was because it sort of snuck up on us. First she toyed with the idea, then she found a recipe, then she worked on perfecting it. I’d come home to some various flour-based goodie each day. Some of them good, some of them just okay, but all of them getting continually better. And then she was baking loaves for friends. And then selling a loaf or two to a couple of people. But it wasn’t a business, right? It was just friends.

Not anymore. When she’s making more than 40 decorated egg cookies in the space of two days, there’s no other way of looking at it.

I’m married to a baker. She’s been at it for something like two years now.

How does it feel?

Full, most of the time. πŸ™‚ My diet certainly doesn’t thank me. (Though I think it resents my tendency to eat too much Indian food more than the loaves of bread.) My house smells heavenly most days, as long as you like the smell of fresh-baked bread.

I’m also very proud of her. She’s done this from the ground up, and she did it the hard way. She’s gone to classes about running businesses. She’s learned new technologies, figured out inventory systems, come up with ways of giving receipts, understood Maine law–it’s a complicated process. But it’s also a doable one. Just like writing a book was for me. It can seem overwhelming at first, but as you dive into it and teach yourself, you find out that what seems daunting at first is really just a really tall staircase. You work on each step, one at a time.

In any case, when we moved to Maine four years ago, it was as a librarian and an ESL teacher. Somehow in the intervening years, we’ve become an author and a baker at the same time.


4 thoughts on “On Being the Husband of a Baker”

  1. I have always been a bread lover and looked forward to trips to Germany and Austria where I knew I’d get excellent bread. I’m heading to Germany with students in May, but no longer am excited about the bread since Denisa’s is as good if not better than any bread I’ve ever had. I can honestly say that my quality of life has improved since finding out about Breadweaver’s and your baker wife! So I guess my next step is the buy and read your book

  2. Glad you like the bread, too. She’s been lots happier now that she can make bread like that. She just got to the point that she was sick of eating bad bread, so she had to start baking it. πŸ™‚

    Not sure if my book can hope to be as life-enriching. πŸ™‚

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