Sunday, August 24, 2014

Guest Writer: Marisa

My sister Marisa came into town for a week-and-a-half this summer and helped out at the bakery.  This is what she found:

I knew there was a reason I’ve been strength training for the past two years. I had unknowingly been preparing for my day at Ninth Street Bakery. Lifting enormous slabs of dough is challenging enough, but doing it at a rapid enough pace so as to not let the butter melt, should qualify pastry making as a competitive sport.   

I had come to Durham to spend time with my brother, my nephew, and help out at the bakery. Before this extended visit, I had a very rough idea of how labor-intensive and life-consuming running a bakery was. Even after spending close to two weeks in Durham, I only got a very small taste. What I saw was how much of Ari’s life, love, and passion goes into this bakery. While he gets to share in the successes of the bakery, like introducing a customer to a new food item they can’t get enough of, or training an employee in a new area, he is the first line of offense and the last line of defense (yes, we were both soccer goalies =).  This means he deals with all the day to day duties and setbacks as well as trying to plan a future for the bakery and his staff.

Ari is responsible for all his staff and customers. Because he cares deeply about all of them, he wants both parties to be happy, motivated, encouraged, and challenged - whether they are eating, baking, or cooking. As the little sister who looks up to Ari enormously, I’ve been studying him my entire life. I know that look when he’s trying to problem solve or when he’s juggling multiple ideas and playing out various possible outcomes. I saw both those faces constantly at the bakery. If I could grant Ari and his team one wish it would be that they could take a breath, sit back, and enjoy the successes that they have created at Ninth Street. I know that time will come, but until then, Ari has the work ethic, stamina, and open-mindedness to grow and develop himself and the bakery. Plus, I’ll make sure to keep up the strength training for the next time I visit.

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