I sat down to talk with my mom about her job.
Here’s a transcript of our conversation.
Rob: I’m here today at 2 Fine Caterers with Jamie Spadafore. She is one of the owners of the family run business, and she’s been baking for over 20 years. She’s also my mother. Jamie, thanks for joining me today.
Jamie: Good to be here. Glad you came to visit me.
Rob: We just had you make a wonderful cake for us. How did you get started baking?
Jamie: My parents opened the Back Porch Restaurant in 1975, so it was quite a while ago. I used to bake the cheesecakes at home; I was only in 7th grade. When I was old enough, I started baking in the restaurant. Then we opened the 2nd restaurant. We actually had a little bakery in there. The bakery got to be quite busy so we extended and bought this building, which we now bake out of and cater out of. So we have both [services] in [this building]. We’ve been up here for about 8 years.
Rob: You run the bakery end of the operation.
Rob: How many employees to do have?
Jamie: There are 6 of us up here. We’re a really small operation. But we like it that way so we can do everything fresh to order.
Rob: You supply cakes and different desserts to both the Speers Street Grill and the Back Porch. You also do cakes to order.
Jamie: We also have another restaurant in Uniontown that we provide desserts to.
Rob: What else do you make?
Jamie: We make cheesecakes, pies, biscotti, and brownie trays, cookies. Lots of different things.
Rob: People always tell me that they love your toasted almond tortes; it’s my favorite, too. What do you think you’re known for?
Jamie: We do mostly what we call our celebration cakes. Those are cakes that people choose their cake, their filling, and their icing. We do a lot of writing on the cakes for birthdays or whatever celebration they’re having. We sell more of those than anything up here. For the restaurants, we sell the almond tortes and different pies and cheesecakes.
Rob: Biscotti are a different type of dessert.
Jamie: We have about 6 different kinds of biscotti. I just keep making up other flavors here and there.
Rob: How do you make them?
Jamie: It’s kind of like a regular kind of cookie, but these are twice baked. So you make like a log and slice them down, bake them, turn them over, and re-bake them until they’re nice and crispy and crunchy.
Rob: What’s your favorite part of your job?
Jamie: We have a lot of people that are regulars. We have people that are coming and getting a cake every week. I kind of like that part because you get to know the people that come in here, and that makes it fun.
Rob: What does your typical day consist of?
Jamie: We do a lot, so that depends on the day. Since we do a lot of custom cakes, on Friday, I do a lot of prepping for Saturday’s cakes. We also do hand drawn pictures on cakes. Those have to be prepped up ahead of time before I put them on the cakes.
Rob: You also write on the cakes. Is that a hard skill to learn?
Jamie: It’s true. I do it now and I don’t think anything of it. But it is a little tricky to learn. It took me a little bit. When I first did it, I would print, and it was sideways and crooked. But I was only in 8th grade. It is tricky to catch on.
Rob: Thank you so much for letting me come here and crash the business for a little bit.
Jamie: It was fun.
Putting the things I’ve learned to the test.
Make-up: the stuff that women (and some men, if they’re feeling risqué) smear on their faces to make themselves look different.
The types of make-up I am aware of off the top of my head: lip stick, blush, eye shadow, eye liner, other lip goos, various powders, lotion, glimmer, dimmer, other various powders, and more lip things.
I’ve always considered make-up to be the female version of action figures and trading cards. Companies release limited release nail polish (that’s another!) colors with crazy names and a ‘collect them all!’ type of slogan or mentality. So I guess I’m comparing lip stick to Pokemon. The only difference is that I know way more about Pokemon.
The most hands-on experience I’ve had with make-up is as a bartender, attempting to remove lip stick from the edges of wine glasses. The water-resistant technologies that these companies have engineered into their beauty products must be the result of highly advanced NASA research.
Make-up is a foreign world to my simple male mind. And as much as I hate to break things down into stereotypes, that’s all that I can really offer up here as to why I know so little about the stuff. As far as I’m concerned, in fourth grade, the teachers organized a private meeting with all the girls in the auditorium to screen a top-secret movie (they got to watch a movie!), and it was all cake faces and mysterious feminine hygiene products from there on out.
I know very little about make-up.
This is Inge. She’s the one on the right.
Inge likes make-up. She has agreed to let me photograph her make-up. This is (most of) her make-up.
This is (most of) her make-up dumped out onto a desk and very close up.
Inge smears these products on her face sometimes. Here is another picture of some more of said products.
I don’t know what most of these products are, so I arranged them all by the container’s shape.
Upon first inspection, I have noticed a few things. Many of the products seem to serve the same identical purpose. What that purpose is, I am unaware, but many of the containers are the of the same color, with minor differences in shade. Also, it should be noted that some if these products appear entirely useless.
What is this??? A miniature bottle of shining water?
Some bottles seem to be contradictory: some make your face shiny, others remove the shine from your face. Application of the products must be similar to painting, as evidenced by the numerous brushes, which come in multitudinous sizes and shapes. Here is a picture of the instruments.
And here they are, laid out on a desk.
Eyebrow and lip products are the most abundant. I think these are for eyebrows.
I think these are for lips.
Inge displayed excitement and exuberance for her products, and she was willing to talk at length about the proper use and application of all of them, as well as offer up pros and cons of varying brand names. This passion has lead me to want to discover more about the wild world of beauty products. Luckily, Inge has allowed me to experiment with her array of facial art supplies. On the next installment of Rob Likes Make-Up, I will be applying them directly to Inge’s skin in hopes of learning more about this thing we call Make-Up.