Angie’s Kitchen Addiction: A Reminder That There's No Expiry Date on Your Dreams

November 1st, 2023
Lauren Leone
Read Time: 5 Minutes
Meet Simply Bread Co customer Kevin Grenz (@MeloBread)

Angie’s Kitchen Addiction: A Reminder That There's No Expiry Date on Your Dreams

November 1st, 2023
Lauren Leone
Read Time: 5 Minutes

The COVID-19 pandemic brought a wave of change, challenges, and newfound hobbies to people all across the world. For Angela Young, a passionate home baker in Brentwood, CA, it was a second chance to explore a lifelong passion and follow her dreams. 

When the lockdown went into effect and social activities came to a halt, she decided to challenge herself by learning how to bake sourdough. With nothing but time on her hands, Angie made her very own starter and was hooked after the first bake. “I was making loaves and just driving around to family and friends and dropping them off on their porches,” said Angie. “It was how I stayed connected to everybody”.

Angie’s skill for sourdough flourished during quarantine, but her passion for baking had always been present. She was exposed to the world of baking as a child by her mother. “It all started by baking with my mom,” Angie said. “I remember baking apple pies with her in the kitchen when I was five”. Angie now carries on that tradition with her grandkids, baking pizzas and other goodies with them whenever she gets the chance.

As Angie rediscovered her love for baking during the pandemic, she was simultaneously getting burnt out from her job. As more and more people were interested in buying her bread, Angie decided to take the leap into the micro bakery world. “I quit my corporate job and started my bakery business three years ago,” said Angie. “And I still love it”.

The decision of what to call Angie’s micro bakery was brainstormed with her husband and her daughter. After throwing multiple names around, Angie’s husband offered some insight.

“Well, your baking is like an addiction. You’re always in the kitchen, and I can’t get you out of there when you’re supposed to be relaxing,” her husband said to her. This sparked an idea inside Angie’s head, and she named her micro bakery Angie’s Kitchen Addiction.

She explained that her kitchen addiction stems from finding a sense of peace and calm just by having her hands in the dough. “I want to keep baking until I can’t anymore,” Angie explained. “Even when it’s not a baking day, I’m still in the kitchen finding something new to create.”

One of Angie’s favorite things to bake, and her best seller, is her focaccia bread. “I love focaccia because I can really get my hands in the dough,” said Angie, explaining that her favorite part is when she gets to dimple the dough with olive oil. Her focaccia is so popular that Angie bakes multiple flavor varieties for her customers every week.

“I get a lot of people asking for it,” said Angie. “And it sells out every time I have it in the stores”. On top of her focaccia, Angie regularly bakes country sourdough, sourdough cinnamon rolls, seasonal scones, and loaves with a wide range of flavor combinations.

The constant struggle for Angie is dealing with the growing demand from her customers. Finding the balance between maintaining and scaling her micro bakery while juggling personal life and family time leaves little sleep for Angie.

Her baking days start by waking up at 3 a.m. to turn on her Simply Bread oven. “As soon as my alarm goes off, I just start baking,” she said. “I’ll bake until my load for the day is done, probably till 9:30 am”. After that, she packages and preps her loaves for pick-up and delivery.

“It’s a long day by the time I’m done with all the cleanup and everything,” said Angie. “I’ve probably put in at least a 12-hour day”.

As Angie’s micro bakery has grown, so have her orders and the demand for her loaves. She attributes her ability to scale her business to the Simply Bread oven.“It’s been a workhorse for me,” said Angie. “There’s no way I could bake the capacity that I’m baking now in a home oven”. In perfect timing, her Simply Bread oven arrived right as she killed her second home oven from steam overload.

“Stijn came and delivered it himself,” she said, referring to the CEO of Simply Bread. “It was amazing to be able to actually meet him and talk to him about the oven”.

Since starting her micro bakery, some of Angie’s biggest accomplishments have been getting her loaves inside local stores and wineries. She was also mentioned on her local news as one of the best bakeries in Contra Costa County. “It makes me feel good that people are enjoying what I’m making,” said Angie about her milestones.

Angie said that she is known around her town as a bread baker, and now she’s using her wisdom and experience to mentor others in her baking community.

“It’s fun to help and mentor someone else,” said Angie. “I’m trying to help encourage and support her to be ready to get her business going”. But Angie isn’t the only cottage baker out there.“We have a large network of cottage bakers here, a lot of them baking cookies and cakes,” she said. She explained that the tight-knit network of bakers support each other and exchange tips and recommendations, and can empathize with the challenges of the trade.

“It’s nice to have other bakers to bounce things off of,” she said. “And they understand when you’re exhausted, and they can feel for you”.

When asked about tips for aspiring micro bakers, Angie stressed the importance of not beating yourself up over failures.“Sometimes things happen, and it’s okay just to move forward and not dwell on it,” Angie said, explaining days where bakes didn’t turn out the way she expected. She called her customers, but to her surprise, her customers wanted her loaves anyway.

“I’ve had people tell me ‘I don’t care what it looks like, I want it. It still tastes good,” she said.

In a reflection on life and her baking journey, Angie offered some of the wisdom she’d gained along the way.

“I have no regrets for what I’m doing,” she said. “So if that’s your passion, just go for it”. She shared that when she approached the idea with her husband, he encouraged her to do what she loves and what she’s passionate about. 

“He reminded me I have more years behind me than I do ahead of me,” she stated. “He asked me when I was going to take the leap and do what I want”. Three years later, Angie couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.

As for the future of Angie’s Kitchen Addiction, Angie doesn’t have any plans to leave her home kitchen anytime soon.“I like the idea of keeping it small and being able to work from home,” said Angie when asked if she had any future business plans. She shared she hopes to maintain the status quo of her micro bakery and keep her fingers in her dough all the way up to retirement.

Baking had not only become Angie’s livelihood but her sense of purpose, and it was clear that she was going to savor every moment. Angie’s wisdom extends beyond the dimpled focaccia that leaves her kitchen and flows within her growing community of cottage bakers. Angie’s Kitchen Addiction is a living reminder that it’s never too late to follow our passions and take risks. 

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