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Yes, that’s right, you are looking at a baker woman. Ok well I don’t actually bake the bread but I sell it which is the next best thing, right? After a month-long search for a second part-time job, I finally found one at Metropolitan Bakery in Center City Philadelphia.

I started baking bread my senior year of college and, over the last two years, I must say I’ve moved fairly successfully from a five pound brick to an actual soft, appealing loaf. But wow does Metropolitan put any of my bread baking to shame.

Miche (pronounced “meesh”), my favorite Metropolitan loaf, contains rye, wheat, and white flours. Photo courtesy of metropolitanbakery.com

It’s hard not to stare in awe at the perfectly shaped, delicious looking loaves that grace the shelves behind me each day, not to mention the delectable baked goods displayed on the counter in front of me. You could say I’m stuck between a loaf and a bread place and the temptation is nearly unbearable!

Just a portion of the the goods on the counter (see why I’m tempted?). Photo courtesy of metropolitanbakery.com

I have always found bread baking to be a holistically beautiful act of defiance. Bread baking is spiritual in its connection to Mother God, it is physical in its connection to our sense of touch, and it is emotional in its connection to the earth. The art of bread baking stands in direct contrast to how most of our food is produced today.

The connection between our food and how it is made or grown is nearly lost. I do not deny the benefits of grocery stores (and I frequent them as much as anyone else) but I also recognize the power that comes from growing or making food with my own hands. Yes, baking bread takes time and energy but nothing beats the smell of freshly baked bread as it permeates each corner of the house and the sense of accomplishment that comes with it.

In front of the bakery.

This bakery job is the perfect compliment to my 9 to 1 office job. I get to interact with people (one of my favorite things to do), there is physical labor involved (one of the things I need to get back into), and, most importantly, I enjoy it. Yes, I enjoy my work. Such a simple thing that makes a world of difference.

While I do not suspect either of my current jobs will be my lifelong career, I can say that I am happy with what I am doing. I’m glad I learned early in life that, for me, no amount of money can compete with being happy and fulfilled.

Specialty Bread: Chocolate Cherry. Photo courtesy of Metropolitan Bakery’s Breadhead blog