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LESSONS FROM: CANTEEN BAKERY

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LESSONS FROM: CANTEEN BAKERY

Annie Heath

Sometimes being a twenty something is hard. Rent (even though it’s for your dream apartment) causes a big dent in your paycheck; learning to cook is a real adventure & work takes up almost all your time. But being a twenty something is also incredible. You get to learn who you really are & how to pursue your dreams &, best yet, who will help you achieve them.

One of my hopes for Ida Street is to help inspire you. One way I hope to do that is by introducing you to a few of our peers pursuing & achieving their creative dreams. & with that,  I’d like to welcome  you to a new Ida Street feature: Lessons from a dreamer.

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Q: What would your advice be to other twenty somethings trying to figure it all out? 

"You won't ever figure it all out. If you have a passion, you have that passion for a reason & you need to chase it."

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"The best things in life come in their most organic form. People, nature, food. Canteen uses organic ingredients to create homemade sweets that are beautifully made to show off the humble beauty of each creation." 

Meet Angie Phillips. She’s the 22 year old founder of Canteen Bakery, a small batch bakery specializing in organic sweets. Canteen is Angie’s dream.

Angie has two part time jobs right now. One at Maribelle’s in Oakley.. (I have to do a blog post on this place soon. It sounds so wonderful!) & one at Branch HIll Coffee. But her real priority is Canteen. 

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When did you realize there was going to be a Canteen Bakery?
Oh,  I always knew. I think I like the control factor of being your own boss. I studied entrepreneurship in college to kind of get the business side of things. 

How did you choose the name? 
[Laughs] Well I wish I had a better story! Basically this [points to her nalgene canteen style water bottle] is with me wherever I am. I don’t go anywhere without it. In a weird way, it has become kind of a security blanket. One day I got all philosophical & started thinking about how amazing this privilege is. This canteen is a promise of never being thirsty. & then I just connected the dots. 

How long have you been baking? 
For as long as I can remember! Even as a little kid, I remember baking. It kind of was like: I’m in the kitchen, that means I should create something. & I just started baking.  Do you remember the first thing you baked?  Hmm, well I remember baking my sister a birthday cake. Fondant was really in back then [smiles] & I made my sister a cheeseburger cake. It was horrible!

What about weddings? You said you are doing a few weddings this fall, have you done any yet?
I made my first wedding cake for my brother’s wedding when I was sixteen. Actually, my sister in law says she discovered me [laughs]. Because she trusted me at sixteen to make her wedding cake.  Oh my gosh! What did you make? Oh it was a simple vanilla bean. It was such a beautiful & very simple wedding. So vanilla bean was perfect.

You have a very whimsical & beautiful, simple look to your baked goods. Is that something you intend, or just how it ends ups? Thank you! I would say that’s just my style. I  follow a lot of baking blogs & really look at other people’s design to find what my own style is. I follow a lot of bakers on Instagram. There’s this girl here in Cincinnati, Brown Bear.. Oh Brown Bear! Yes! I love Brown Bear! Oh you know her! I love her style. She’s amazing. But anyway over the years I have kind of just developed my own style.

A little other information on Canteen Bakery: 10% of sales go to charity. Angie uses customer input to rotate the charity every month. Canteen  currently fulfills orders in Cincinnati. Up next, she's hoping to open a store front. 

Where? 
(Smiles) Wherever the wind takes me.

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Isn’t she amazing? We talked for an hour: about life as a twenty something, about following our dreams, about how we both love sweets & yes, she definitely likes to eat the things she creates. When we left, our coffee long cold & my arms filled with scones, (Angie brought me a batch of vanilla bean spelt scones which absolutely  tasted as wonderful as they look) I couldn’t help but feel inspired by her story. 

The biggest lesson she taught me: everyone has a purpose. & if you know it, or you think you know it, then it's your duty to pursue it.