Program Spotlight: Baking and Pastry Arts

The Clipper Café, located in Building 27, is home to the Baking and Pastry Arts Program where students create baked goods that are sold in the café.

The bakery of the Baking and Pastry Arts Program is on the left, inside the Clipper Café. The café is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Behind the glass bakery displays are the student-baked tarts, cakes, and breads. Though they are not well-known on campus, the bakery goods are growing in popularity.

The one year program earns students a certificate of completion; which qualifies the student for employment as a baker. Deborah Smith, Bakery and Pastry Arts instructor said, “If I could change anything…I would make it a two year program with more space. A bigger space to take on more students and maybe a food truck, all so we can reach more customers.”

Smith explained that students of the program go through a rigorous year-long process. “They go through nine modules in this course: yeast, quick bread, cookie, pies and tarts, pastry techniques, plated desserts, chocolate, cakes and tortes, and retail modules…their days are a lot of hand and hand practice with me, doing about five hours of lab and fifteen minutes of lectures.”

“Some of the most popular items are the cinnamon rolls, tiramisu, key lime when it’s in, the bread, and the ham and cheese scones,” said Smith. The cinnamon rolls are prepared each day and every few days a new loaf of bread sits in a basket on the display case. One day the loaf may be sundried tomato, one day it could be the Portuguese sweet bread, and once in a while it is their legendary sourdough bread, known to sell out extremely fast.

As a requirement, the students must visit six local bakeries to learn their method and how they conduct sales. About 60 percent of student’s go on to start their own bakery, said Smith, who was a former bakery owner herself. Others transfer to a larger institution for further instruction. A few students have gone on to study in New York, local casinos, and local bakeries over the past few years.

While the Bakery is unable to let the campus know ahead of time what is being made that day, people on campus can go to the Clipper Café in the Student Union Building to see and buy the baked goods.