Meet Jill Guzman, Big Y Baker
Some think baking is an art, others that is science. But what we can agree on is that baking brings joy to our lives. It takes time and lots of practice to master the skill and become a true baker. We’re proud to have some of the best ones in New England and we’re thrilled you can get to know a little more of their drive and passion for this work of art, science, or both.
Is baking an art or is it science? What are your thoughts?
Both. You need to understand units of measurement and how certain ingredients will alter the final product. You also need to have a good eye when making sure the baked good is done in the oven or when making beautiful cakes.
Seems like a pinch of inspiration is needed when it comes to baking. So, what inspired you to become a baker?
As they say, bread is life. To be given a chance to learn how to make fresh breads, pastries and cakes sounded like a great opportunity and valuable skill to learn; for a career and for personal growth.
What does a day in the life of a Big Y Baker look like?
Big Y Bakers get up very early and start the day firing up the ovens and going non-stop to prepare and bake all of our breads, rolls and pastries for our customers. We also fry and finish our donuts in our Bakery. We then package and start processing a few made-from-scratch products and by lunch our day is done.
Do you have a favorite Big Y baked good?
The 3-Pack Reese’s peanut butter cookies are the most amazing peanut butter cookie I’ve ever had. They come loaded with peanut butter chips and Reese’s peanut butter cups. Sometimes you can get an entire peanut butter cup on top of the cookie!
Sounds delicious! Now, what’s your go-to Baker’s suggestion to beat the winter blues?
Pick a new recipe to try and bake. Something you wouldn’t normally have the time to do that may require a little more attention in the kitchen, such as scratch-made cakes or breads. You may surprise yourself with how good it comes out.
How do you spend your holidays?
At home with my husband and family. It’s a small gathering but I take much pride in helping make dinner and, of course, making dessert for everyone.
Speaking of holidays, explain to our readers why Snowflake rolls are such a hit this time of the year?
Snowflake rolls are made from scratch every day by our bakers. They are light and delicious, with just a hint of sweetness and the perfect addition for any home-cooked meal this time of year. They also make great small sandwiches for leftover turkey.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job being a Big Y Baker?
When customers come into the Big Y Bakery, there is always a look of excitement. They always look forward to seeing what’s new or what just came out of the oven. Kids get excited to see what cakes are in the case and to see what parents will bring home for dessert. Being able to provide customers with these products is always enjoyable.
Do you have a story or a memorable experience with a Big Y shopper?
When customers become “regulars” and sometimes friends, that’s memorable to me. When you can ask how their day was and if they enjoyed the cake they had after dinner. that’s always an unforgettable experience. Being able to get someone’s order ready for them before they can ask for it makes for a great experience every time.
Cookies, pastries, cake or all of the above? Why?
Cake. The word itself just brings a smile to your face. It represents celebration and joy to everyone. It can be for a special occasion or just because.
What are your top 5 favorite holiday cookies?
Snickerdoodles, Linzer tarts, sugar cookies, peanut butter blossoms, espresso toffee chocolate chip cookies
Milk Chocolate or Dark? Why?
Milk chocolate. It’s just so rich, creamy and delicious. Although I love all chocolate, can I pick both?