Baker’s Dozen with Valerica

We asked Valerica, who’s been with GAIL’s for twelve of our thirteen years, our Baker’s Dozen of questions to find out about her time at GAIL’s and her enduring love of Cinnamon Buns.

1. What time did you get up this morning? What’s your morning routine?
I wake up at 3.30am to get to work and and start baking at 5am.

2. How do you take your coffee?
I only drink espresso.

3. What do you usually have for breakfast?
I wait until I’ve baked the first batch of Cinnamon Buns in the morning, then have a warm bun and an espresso for breakfast. I eat a lot of Cinnamon Buns!

4. How long have you been working for GAIL’s?
I started working for GAIL’s in October 2006 in the Hampstead bakery as a kitchen porter. After a few months, the baker asked me to join them in the kitchen and I loved it. When we opened the second bakery in Notting Hill six months later, I moved there to work as a baker. I went back to work in Hampstead for a few years and have been working as the Head Baker in Seymour Place for four years now.

5. What’s the first food you remember loving as a child?
My mother always baked apple pie in a wood oven outside. It reminds me of running around barefoot as a child.

6. Have you ever baked bread?
Of course!

7. What does the smell of freshly baked bread remind you of?
It reminds me of my childhood, when my mother would bake bread, then share it between my brothers and sisters.

8. What do you spread on your toast?
Butter and strawberry jam.

9. What is the best part of your day?
I’m happiest in the morning, when everything’s quiet and it smells like baking pasty.

10. What’s in your ultimate sandwich?
Avocado and tomato on Russian Rye Sourdough. 

11. If we could give you a lifetime supply of anything from GAIL’s, what would that be?
I would choose the cookbook, then I can have everything! Or the Cinnamon Buns…

12. Our bread is made with three primary ingredients. Four if you include time. What are the main ingredients in your life and work, concrete or abstract?
Hard work, positivity and working together.

13. What would you do for a living, if not this?
I’d love to be a judge, in charge and making the decisions.