Why I Made the Leap from Baking & Pastry to Food Service Management

Food Service Management junior Calla Tetreault in Walt Disney World

Hello everyone! My name is Calla and I’m a baking & pastry arts and food & beverage industry management major in my junior year here at JWU’s Providence Campus.

I love baking. I’ve done it since I was young and I would bake with my grandma. She fostered this love for baking with me and ever since then I’ve wanted to be a baker, she told me about JWU when I was 7 and now here I am.

Food service management for me is an opportunity to work front of the house — and since it’s been something I’ve always loved it was an easy choice for me. I’m a big people person, I love to talk and I don’t always get that opportunity to interact with guests being back-of-house.

That being said, I think it’s a great thing to be well-rounded and be able to handle both aspects of a restaurant or bakery. Having a background in both front- and back-of-house gives you a special edge and you can work in almost any position.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved my pastry labs — they were some of my favorite times. But I needed to expand my reach and tackle something new. The great thing about FSM is it gives you the foundation for working with other people and being in a position of leadership.

While I’m loving my classes now, there are some challenges that come with it. From my baking & pastry lab days, I had become used to changing classes every 9 days. So being strictly in academics can be a tough transition if you’re like me and have a hard time sitting still for a period of time.

"Food service management gives you a foundation for working with other people + being in a position of leadership."

Luckily, all my teachers understand where we are coming from and make the class periods interactive and exciting. They try to incorporate examples from the culinary world to make the information stick better. They open the floor for discussions and find out what we want to know more about — and they are always happy to answer any questions.

My teachers have pushed my way of thinking and helped me see hypothetical situations from perspectives different than mine. The most important thing they do is bringing their firsthand knowledge of the industry to the classroom, because in the end they only want us to succeed to the highest standard.

We do a lot of case studies as group work so we can put what we’ve learned to use and further our understanding of the material. This way also allows us to interact with our classmates and make connections. 

I do find myself having a bit more coursework that I used to, but with the use of planners and time management it doesn’t feel any busier than it used to.

Like most culinary students, I went on an internship during my sophomore year. There were so many amazing places to go and opportunities to consider but I chose to do mine in the Happiest Place on Earth, Walt Disney World.

At Disney, I worked in the Yacht and Beach Club Resort Bakery and I don’t think I could have had a better time. The bakery staff became my second family and they let me try so many different things — like creating my own dessert for the fine dining restaurant in the resort, serving guests at the Epcot Gala and just allowing me to grow as a baking student and learn as much as I could.

Working at the Epcot Gala allowed me to communicate with guests and my leaders first hand on the main floor which enforces what I’m learning right now in my FSM classes, so it’s nice to have some firsthand experience in that aspect.

I’m already loving FSM just as much as my pastry labs and I can’t wait to further my education!

Tarts and a cake made by Tetreault