Truffles: How did you happen to come to Sweet Designs?
Gerald: I have to thank my dad. It was three years ago and I’d just been fired from my other job. I was 16 when Ines gave me a 2nd chance. I was lucky to get an interview. It happened because my dad is a customer and he’s known Ines for years. I’ve learned a lot since I started and am grateful that I was given that 2nd chance to show what I could do.
Truffles: Any big surprises?
Gerald: The number of friendly faces that have been around since I started. It’s a whole family here where everyone is made to feel welcome and it’s changed the way I take responsibility.
Truffles: What’s an average day look like and what do you like most?
Gerald: I spend most of my time in the kitchen helping with orders. Working on the belt and prepping all the big custom bars in batches of two- to three-hundred and a variety of other tasks. It’s the best because it’s crunch time when the belt is on – moving and getting things finished without compromising our quality is what I aim for. I love that I can take pride in what I do.
Truffles: What have you learned at Sweet Designs?
Gerald: Be present and be responsible for what you do. Even if it’s good or bad. I’ve also learned a lot about business from Ines, including how to create an environment that has a family feel but that is always professional. I hope to have my own business one day and I’ve learned so much from Ines.
Truffles: So, when did your interest in food surface?
Gerald: I had two years of culinary during high school. And I’m now at Tri-C, so I’ve been in this industry now for 5 or 6 years. I discovered my interest in food in my freshman year after realizing IT – Information Technology – wasn’t for me. I have a creative mind and like the opportunities for creativity that working with food offers. I’ve always enjoyed pork and like working with meat, but I see myself working with pastries or sweets in the future.
Truffles: When you're not working?
Gerald: Recently, I’ve also been trying to learn how to skateboard. Travel is something else I really enjoy. Because my dad’s job has been moving and delivering cars across the country, I’ve gotten to visit 37 states so far.
Truffles: Something that would surprise people about you?
Gerald: Most people don’t know, but I had cancer when I was younger, a form of leukemia. I’ve fought it for 12 years and fortunately, I’ve been in remission for eight years now.
Truffles: Your favorite Sweet Designs treat?
Gerald: Toffee and cashews come to mind immediately.
Truffles: Any message for customers?
Gerald: Thanks for making it possible for us to continue to work and for enjoying our products so much.