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Paul’s hosts big bakery tour

 

A Paul’s Pastry employee demonstrates how the bakery fills its king cakes to visiting members of RPIA.  Photo by Alexandra Hedrick

A Paul’s Pastry employee demonstrates how the bakery fills its king cakes to visiting members of RPIA.
Photo by Alexandra Hedrick

Eighty-one bakers from across the nation toured Paul’s Pastry on Tuesday afternoon as part of the RPIA Group conference.

Paul’s Pastry owner Sherri Thigpen said the RPIA is “a group of independent bakers and companies that wish to share knowledge, experience and leverage our buying power whenever possible.”

Thigpen said in the past, she has not been able to participate in the annual conference because it takes place during carnival season, the bakery’s busiest season of the year.

Paul’s Pastry has made 8,600 king cakes since Jan. 2, Thigpen said.

Before taking the bakers on a tour, Thigpen explained the layout and history of the bakery. Samples of some of the bakeries treats were available to the visitors and each baker also left with a small king cake.

Marc Anderson, a baker from Wisconsin said he never realized what how large the king cake industry is for bakeries in the south.

“Every bakery operates a bit differently, but any one you go into, you can pick up an idea; something that will work for you,” Anderson said.

Odette D’Aniello, a bakery owner from Tacoma, Washington, made sure to take lots of pictures during the tour to pick up ideas to implement at her shop.

“We try to learn the best practices in our industry and a lot of it is different regionally,” D’Aniello said. “There might be a way of production that will work for me for another product at my store.”

The group also toured Nanna Randazzo’s in Covington and Ambrosia Bakery in Baton Rouge before touring Paul’s Pastry.