INTERVIEW: ‘Next Great Baker’ Contestant Gretel-Ann Fischer
Meet Gretel-Ann Fischer, a culinary artist and owner of Cupp’s Café and Bakery in Winooski, Vermont. Gretel-Ann is among several lucky contestants participating in TLC’s Next Great Baker.
It’s no secret Season 3 of Next Great Baker has had its share of drama. Here’s my interview with Gretel-Ann Fischer, who I quickly found to be full of passion, grace, fire and some serious baking talent! Check out her Facebook page that has tons of gorgeous cakes and many other delicious treats. A-maz-ing!!!
As an added bonus, she also shared one of her favorite recipes with me.
Laura: Why did you decide to become a pastry chef/cafe owner?
Gretel-Ann: When I was seven-years-old, my Aunt Anita brought me to her family’s bakery in Schenectady, NY – her sister-in-law was working on a wedding cake. It was a typical 80’s style cake with the stairs, fountain, fake brides and a lot of piping. At the time, I thought it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. From that moment on, I knew I had to do this for the rest of my life.
Laura: Has your appearance on Next Great Baker changed your life or business thus far?
Gretel-Ann: Yes, it’s definitely gotten me some recognition in my community and people who never heard of Cupps are now seeking us out. Vermonters are a tight knit community, we support each other through thick and thin,I have the entire state rooting for me and supporting me for the show—even people I have never met. It is very humbling.’
Laura: Do you have any advice for someone wanting to start in the bakery business?
Gretel-Ann: If it’s what you love, never give up on your dream. Never! When there’s no business coming in and you’re more tired than you thought possible, dig deep and trust your strengths and your dreams. This business is not for the weak, you’re working when others are playing and there’s a ton of sacrificing, but if you can sit back at the end of the day and say, “Damn, that was fun,” you’ll know you made the right decision. It’s not going to happen overnight, so have patience. With great work comes great reward.
Laura: Who are your inspirations and why?
Gretel-Ann: My inspirations are my children. I want to be able to look them square in the eyes when they’re older and say “Mommy followed her dreams and never gave up, so you will too!” They are the ones that keep me going every day.
Laura: What is your favorite recipe and why?
Gretel-Ann: My favorite recipe is my croustade – it’s my signature dessert for so many reasons. The recipe is here: http://www.cuppsvt.com/_
Laura:What is the most challenging recipe you’ve made and why?
Gretel-Ann: I stink at making Crème brûlée! I don’t know what I do, but I either under cook it, so it doesn’t set in the center, or I somehow make it into scrambled eggs. However, while I have a great team to help me on the day-to-day, I’m still working on my own to perfect the recipe. Remember, patience, is key!
Laura: What is your long-term goal for your business and career?
Gretel-Ann: My long-term goal for my business and career is to be able to enjoy the simple things in life. To continue to love what I do every day and to wake up excited about what the day’s cake and baking challenge is. To live my dream of being nationally recognized and a part of people’s homes and celebrations. I always feel honored when someone asks me to be part of their memories. Sounds kind of silly, but it brings tears to my eyes that I get to wake up and play with sugar and flour every day. I am truly blessed and I love what I do.
Laura: I really want to thank Gretel-Ann for being such a great sport, and answering my questions. I have no idea how she even had the time for me. Also, best of luck on her journey towards being the Next Great Baker. Don’t forget to watch the show – Monday nights at 9/8 Central Time on TLC!