Their alarms wake them up at abnormal hours, they sleep walk to their cars and drive downtown to our home: Aromas Coffeehouse & Bliss Bakery. They set out to do the longest ‘to do’ list that they’ve seen in awhile, and are soon at work baking off the rolls and scones just in time for you to grab a delicious treat with your early morning coffee. They are the behind-the-scene pastry masters. They are our Bliss bakers.
Every morning our Bliss bakers prep the pastry cases for downtown, Benson, and even Flagship. They bake off fresh scones and rolls, frost cupcakes, and prep and decorate any cakes that are going out for that day or any of the days nearing. Simple right? Well, maybe not…
We owe our Bliss bakers a lot. They keep the baked goods fresh, mouth-watering and do most of it before the sun even rises. So we decided it is time to highlight one of our amazing chefs in the blog this week.
Introducing Chef Jenna Keene. Jenna has been with Aromas + Bliss since 2011. Baking is her livelihood, not only baking for us, but for her friends and family too. She’s always coming up with great new recipes, collaborating with other bakers and really coming through with a great taste profile and presentation.
Read below for our short interview with Bliss Bakery manager (and Sugar Cookie Decorating Class captain), Jenna Keene:
How long have you been at the bakery?
I came on staff in September 2011 as a full time baker. I took some time off in 2013 to go back to school, and then came back full time as a bakery manager in December of 2016.
How did you end up at Bliss Bakery?
I moved to Omaha after college with a degree in History and no plans. A friend knew I loved to bake and that I needed a job, so she introduced me to Autumn.
Where did you learn to bake?
I have been baking for as long as I can remember! Some of my favorite memories were made with my mom in our kitchen, baking delicious treats for the people we love.
What does a “normal” day look like for you?
Every day is a little different. On a normal you will find us making anything from cupcakes and muffins, to scones and cinnamon rolls, in addition to making lunch every day. On a less than normal day there’s a chance we’re making 2,000 giant cupcakes or 30 dozen cinnamon rolls.
What’s your favorite thing you’re working on right now?
Late last year we decided to add donuts to our menu. I have had a blast working with the rest of the kitchen staff to develop creative and delicious donuts every month.
What are some of the coolest things you’ve gotten to work on in the bakery?
A few months ago we started talking about ways to give our customers a little glimpse of our side of the world. We thought classes were a great way to do that! In February we began offering sugar cookie decorating classes every other week. I have had a blast teaching these classes and I’m looking forward to getting more on the calendar!
What is the best part of your job?
As bakers we get to be a part of our customers’ best days: weddings, graduations, new babies, etc. I love being a part of that!
Do you still bake at home, even though you’ve been baking at work all day?
Sometimes! But only when I don’t have to be up at 4 a.m. the next morning!
What is your favorite thing the bakery makes?
Probably our cinnamon rolls!
Thank you. Oh and if you haven't yet, make sure you try our Donut of the Month: a candied ginger donut with a green matcha glaze. It’s one of our best creative moments and just plain delicious!
Agreed. The March Donut of the Month is SO GOOD.
Even though you don’t always get to see the smiling faces of our Bliss Bakery staff when you come into the shops, you do always get the chance to taste some of the things that they've baked for you and your crew. So next time you’re in the downtown shop for your favorite cranberry orange scone or pepperoni pizza calzone, peep your head around the corner and take a look at all the Bliss bakers hard at work!