by Alex Risley Schroeder
Participant in "Food Writing Workshop" by Steve Holt at The KITCHEN
Check out the latest schedule of classes, workshops & more at The KITCHEN here TrusteesKitchen
A tour through the Boston Public Market is a catalog of fresh, locally sourced food and food-related specialty items. It is also a picture of diverse pathways to a career in local food.
Turns out it is as much about people, passion, and technique as it is about food.
Avery of Nella Pasta started out making bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches in her plug-in electric fry pan. KITCHEN Interim Manager Sara Ross loved food and plotted a course from prep cook to retail on-farm sales, to cupcake truck, to kitchen manager. Sarah at Peterman’s Boards and Bowls combined her sales and art background and now sells 21” wide salad bowls upcycled from fallen trees.
If a local food career is what you’re after, formal training -- whether in a kitchen or on a farm -- can give you a head start. But don’t underestimate connecting with professionals who are also crazy about growing, making and serving food, such as farmers, even those who grow in shipping containers (like Corner Stalk Farm); pastry chefs; cooks in big kitchens and on small trucks (Bon Me has five); and inventive stonemasons (like the ones at American Stonecraft). If you want develop your passion, spend time around passionate people.
Build a career in food from your life. See connections between the food you like, the organizations you know, and the skills you have. Feed the people around you, and repeat. Talk about what you like! The flavor, the spices, certainly. But also the camaraderie, the technique, and even the equipment -- like Red Apple Farm’s donut-making robot or Boston Honey Company’s indoor hive.
Bottom line: good food comes from good people!
P.S. Right now, there are a few jobs at Boston Public Market! Check them out here! Check out employment with The Trustees here
Alex Risley Schroeder works in workforce development, most recently thinking about food system jobs and job creation, as part of the newly released Massachusetts Local Food Action Plan, and with the Massachusetts Workforce Alliance.