Imagine Having the Office Next to Willy Wonka


If you enter through the side door of the building, you’ll walk past a small enclosed room, likely without even noticing it’s there, without considering that you might have just approached someone’s very ernest dessert laboratory. Instead, the rumbling and the buzz of the happenings ahead will beckon you to keep walking. On your way to it, though you may not fully understand what “it” entails, you’ll recognize hints of what’s in production along your path: bags of brown sugar the size of laundry hampers, cans the size of buckets filled with pumpkin puree, and even larger stashes of flour. Soon enough though, a clearer picture will appear. You’ll have arrived at a scene that’s as energetic as the aroma of buttered sugar is palpable.

It’s the nearest I’ve ever come to a chocolate waterfall plausible for drowning in that’s for sure- not that it wouldn’t be worth it. There’s large tubs (think: the size of your bath) filled with pastry dough, sheet trays layered with freshly roasted berries that could span your entire office desk, and quite interestingly, a LOT of cereal. Maybe enough to fill a swimming pool of milk. Dozens of people are sectioned into various stations, diligently preparing a designated component of pie. Yes, pie. Or rather, hundreds maybe thousands of pies. And in the near perfect formation of a flock of birds, people are in movement, transporting stacks upon stacks of pie sheets in and out of ovens the size of my dream walk-in closet.

It’s quite the daily operation- intimidating or aspirational, I can’t yet decide. And I’m always left wondering how many calories I’ve breathed in just by standing there and wow. Just…WOW. I typically pass through to grab some cream from my part of the freezer and to say hello to the kitchen managers and the other smiling faces I recognize before retreating to my little corner where it’s just me, my batch freezer, and a medley of ingredients that at this point, still have more potential than they do a plan.

But heyyy, we all start somewhere?