With a contagious laugh and a quick smile, baker Greg Connally is the man you want making your cake. Fresh out of the pastry department of Whole Foods, Connally began working at the Bloom Baking Company (profiled yesterday) on May 8. Since then his days have started at 7 a.m. because somebody has to make the Napoleons.
Fat City sat down with him at the City Market and discovered why he might be able to give Axl Rose a run for his money.
What are the rules in your kitchen?
I want everybody to work hard. Be passionate. Have fun. Right now, the focus is on keeping up production because we're having trouble keeping everything in stock -- although that's a good problem to have.
Do you listen to music in the kitchen?
I listen to music all the time, especially the Wilders. It's their soulfulness and originality, yet their music is deeply rooted in America. It's all about passion. You have have the bare essentials but then there are a thousand different twists to everything.
I'm a whistler -- which comes with happiness. And right now, I'm really happy. At Whole Foods, there were several times I was called out on it. I usually just whistle whatever is in my head. On Monday, it was [something from] the Rural Grit Happy Hour -- and I'm a great whistler.
[In fact, you might be able to hear Connally as part of a whistling duet before The Wilders take the stage on June 12 at Knuckleheads Saloon.]
How is a bakery's dynamic different from a restaurant kitchen?
I think this is a really collaborative environment. There is a lot of teamwork because it's the only way we can finish everything. I had great training at Whole Foods, and the girls here all went to pastry school. I feel like we compliment each other really well.
What inspires you in the kitchen?
Anything extra-special -- a specialty cake, or a wedding cake. I'm really inspired by the Ace of Cakes [television show]. I love the idea of looking at something visually and not being able to believe that it's made of cake. Ace of Cakes makes the process seem more accessible. I get lots of good tips from the show as well.
What's your guilty pleasure?
Oh gosh, I would have to say donuts. Lamar's Glazed. I don't like to admit it to eating them, but yeah, I do.