OTC students prepare to open bakery

OTC students prepare to open bakery

Monday, October 14, 2013

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It wasn't so much word of mouth as it was the yummy taste of cake in the mouth of many that convinced two OTC students to open a commercial bakery later this year.

Rebecca Gibbs and Marchelle Jaramillo, both culinary arts students at OTC, plan to open M&R Bakery on West Commercial Street in December, where they will specialize in custom-made-to-order cakes, cupcakes and cookies.

It was their ability to make those tasty treats for friends and relatives that convinced they to take their talents to the business world.

"We've been doing it for family and friends for some time. Just over the last year, we've had such a demand from them that now it's been starting to go beyond only that," Gibbs said.

"We've had to tell people we can't do their orders yet. We donít have an actual kitchen. We can't go beyond family and friends right now. We are having that continual push by people that we don't even know who have tried stuff at our family or friends' parties."

Gibbs and Jaramillo met at OTC about two years ago when they were preparing for the SkillsUSA competition that pits area college students in various contests in their area of study.

"We found we both liked baking all sorts of things including breads, cakes and cupcakes and decided to take the plunge and go into business for ourselves," said Gibbs, who said her forte is breads.

Gibbs, from San Diego, came to the Ozarks as a child and used to bake with her mother and now is the chief cook and baker for her family. Jaramillo came to OTC to study nursing but took a Saturday baking class and immediately switched her major.

Both attribute a lot of what they learned about baking and the business world to their OTC education.

"The hospitality and catering classes helped me learn how to price out menus and take care of groups," Jaramillo said. "We learn a lot in the classes. The faculty is so helpful."

Said Gibbs: "The classes have been encouraging for me and motivational. Iíve learned a lot. Menu design class helps me properly price out our recipes. Baking classes help me understand the science of baking."

The pair's Web site is a mandrbakery.com and can be found on Facebook at Facebook.com/mandrbakery.