by Larissa Mulkern from NewHampshire.com:
WOLFEBORO — Professionally trained pastry chef Katie Johnson intends to raise more than just bread dough when she opens her new bakery, From Scratch Baking Co., this spring at 45 North Main Street.
Johnson, 29, a 2004 graduate of Kingswood Regional High School, intends to raise awareness and understanding by staffing her new business with workers with developmental disabilities. One of those workers will be her older sister, Kristin, who has Down syndrome but inspires Katie every day.
Johnson brings her own unique skill set to her new venture. Before earning her degree in baking and pastry arts at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Rhode Island and then taught fourth-graders at the Cornerstone Christian Academy in Ossipee, following in the footsteps of her mom, former educator Gail Johnson, who now is a full-time home care provider with Northern Human Services. Gail Johnson said her daughter is committed “100 percent” to everything she chooses to do, and in this case has the ideal skill set — teaching and baking — to break down each task and teach that task to her employees.
“There are so many weddings here in the summer,” she said. The local business community has been very supportive of this new venture, she said.
To launch the business, Johnson took to a crowd-funding source, Indiegogo, to raise the $65,000 in start-up costs. The 30-day campaign ends Dec. 24. Thus far, the venture has raised just less than $29,000, but unlike some other crowd funders that require pledges for the total goal, Johnson will be able to use however much funding she receives up to the deadline. Johnson’s video and presentation is available on the Indiegogo site, www.indiegogo.com/projects/from-scratch-baking-co-love-people-bake-things.
Gail Johnson said there is a shortage of jobs for people with disabilities, but through interacting with employees at the new bakery, the public will realize that “everybody has value.”
For more information, go to www.fromscratchbakingcompany.com, email Katie Johnson at Katie@fromscratchbakery.com, or call her at 502-0688.