Take a minute to hear from our Middle School New City Bakery team! This is the eleventh summer that middle school students have dedicated their summer to learning how to bake! Not only are students learning how to make delicious scones, cookies, bars, and muffins, but they are also learning lifelong skills. They are learning job skills such as timeliness, how to work in a kitchen, customer service, and teamwork.

Here is what a typical week in the bakery program looks like:

Monday morning they participate in a baking challenge where they split it into partners and experiment with recipes in competition with one another. Then, after lunch they spend time doing devotions and team-building.

On Tuesdays they take field trips to learn more about baking, customer service, and to have fun while building community and relationships. So far this year they’ve visited Hall Street Bakery, Wealthy Street Bakery, and Field & Fire.

On Wednesdays they spend part of the day in the kitchen baking  and preparing doughs for Thursday at New City Cafe. They also harvest berries and herbs that will be used in their baked goods. In the afternoon they take time to tutor and read with the elementary students.

Thursdays is all about preparing for New City Cafe! They finish baking, and get ready for customers to come all morning. In the afternoon students are either assisting with New City Cafe or they are helping out with New City Breaktime, reading and tutoring the elementary students.

It’s a busy summer of learning, community, growing in faith, and having fun! At the end of the summer this group will take a camping trip to the Upper Peninsula where we’ll go hiking, swimming, kayaking, camping, and more. The students will vote on one big day trip they’d like to take (Mackinac Island? Pictured Rocks? Tahquamenon Falls?). It’s a great way to end the summer together.

Meet the students below:

Top Row (Left to Right)

Joel Schraam, Kitchen Director
Joel oversees the middle school students when they are baking in the kitchen and working as a part of New City Cafe on Thursdays.

6th Grade
Analie decided to join the bakery so that she could bake and have fun this summer. She’s already learned to be nice as well as to work hard.
Analie’s favorite baked good: Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

7th Grade
Shanya joined the bakery last year because it is really fun and there are really nice workers. This year she’s learned how to make molasses cookies, and has also learned that customers need to be served with kindness.
Shanya’s favorite baked good: No Bake Cookies

7th Grade
This is Bekeham’s second year in the bakery. He joined because he wanted something to do around summer time and wanted to get better at baking. He shares this story: “A thing I learned is not to eat currants on their own. I learned this by eating a currant, I got curios while picking berries and then tried it even though  they said it’s not good.” Joel plans to make some yummy things out of the currants in the future!
Beheham’s favorite baked good: Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar, because it tastes like Reeses, which is the best chocolate peanut butter combo.

7th Grade
Jay joined the bakery this year, he has a huge interested in baking and bakes for his huge family (he has a family of 7). He shares, “I’ve learned  to be careful what you do because if you don’t pay attention you can ruin a whole recipe which is really bad for business.”
Jay’s Favorite Baked Good: Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar

Abbie, Bakery Manager
Abbie is a bakery manager this summer! She’s been a part of the bakery for the past three summers. Read more about her in a previous blog post.

Kalee, Middle School Program Director
Kalee oversees all aspects of the program- curriculum, field trips, tutoring elementary students, and working alongside Joel and Lance to coordinate the students time in the kitchen and on the farm.

Bottom Row (Left to Right):

7th Grade
Emily joined the bakery because her sister, Claudia has been in the bakery for three years and this year is a manager. Emily has learned that most important thing is friendship and teamwork. She shares, “We have to use teamwork when baking because when we bake we bake in partners.”
Emily’s favorite baked good: Oatmeal Carmelitas (because the are super duper yummy!)

6th Grade
Paula joined the bakery to bake, meet new people, and most of all HAVE FUN. She shares, “this year I have learned that customer service is really important, because if you don’t treat your customers well they might not come back and they might tell tell their friends and family and you have lost a lot of potential customers.”
Paula’s favorite baked good: The mocha brownie, “I love it because it is a great mix of coffee and chocolate.”

6th Grade
Promyse joined the bakery to learn and meet friends. So far this summer she has learned about being nice and how to bake.
Favorite Baked Good: The Classic Scones- those are good!

6th Grade
Waldin decided to join the bakery because he knew this was a good place to start a career. He has already learned that he can work with others and help out. He likes to bake with friends.
Waldin’s favorite baked good: Chocolate Chip Cookies

6th Grade
Josh has been waiting for a long time to be in the bakery and always thought it looked fun! He has always wanted to learn how to make cookies, and this summer he has.
Josh’s favorited baked good: Mocha Brownies

6th Grade
Robin joined the bakery to learn and have fun! He has learned the right way to do a recipe. During a Monday baking challenge he enjoyed making cookies that looked like cinnamon rolls with Jay!
Robin’s favorite baked good: S’mores Bar & the Cranberry Almond Scones

Claudia, Bakery Manager
Claudia has been involved with bakery since 6th grade. In the fall she’ll be entering the 9th grade. Read more about Claudia in a previous blog post!

We hope to see you on a Thursday when you come by New City Cafe! We’re open 12:00-6:30pm.

Winner’s announced at the Cutthroat Kitchen Bakery Challenge!

We took a trip to Hall Street Bakery to try out their pizza and learn more about customer service!

Paula and Emily working hard in the kitchen to make some delicious baked goods.