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Baker at the Haley House: Tyeshya Jenkins

By Amber in A Place for Me in the World

A Place for Me in the World

Tyeshya Jenkins is a smart, confident woman who went to baking school to follow her dreams of becoming a baker. She is very friendly and always smiling. She was picked out of all the students at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts to help make a cake for their one hundredth anniversary.

When I was sixteen, I started baking, because I have always loved being creative. Then, my mother-in-law helped me become a better baker. We used to have bake-offs to help me improve. Baking was always a skill of mine, but I didn’t enroll in baking school until I was eleven years out of high school. Later on, I enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. I took a nine-month course and they taught me everything I needed to know about cooking.

At the Haley House Café, where I work, we welcome everyone. I work with former convicts who have become family to me. At first I didn’t know how I felt about working with convicts because I didn’t know what they went to jail for, but it’s a very welcoming place to work. My schedule at the Haley House is very hectic; I have to be there by 5 a.m. to prepare the food, and all the food has to be out by 7:30 or 8 a.m. All of our food is served fresh. I never leave work at the same time. Sometimes, I don’t leave until really late.

Cookies are my specialty. In 2010, the Haley House won an award for best cookies. I also have another specialty: cupcakes. I feel like you can be more creative with cupcakes than with regular cakes. My specialty frosting is my Vanilla Passion. I’m pretty flexible. If someone has high blood pressure, for example, I can fix something up for them, no problem. I love baking. Even after work, I bake different stuff for people in my family: birthday cakes, wedding cakes, anniversaries, any and everything.

A couple of years from now, I plan to open my own bakery, so I can be a very spontaneous baker. I don’t want to take orders. I want to be my own boss and try new things in the baking world. For holidays, I want to do big extravagant things and have themed cakes and cupcakes. I also want to donate a lot of my profits to the Children’s Hospital. My bakery will stay in Boston and will be open to hiring young people.


I wanted to interview a baker because I have always wanted to become a baker myself. Tyeshya made her life seem hectic at times, but she also made it seem very exciting and rewarding. When I heard her talk about how she got into baking, it sounded like she was living her dream of becoming a baker. My favorite part of the interview was when she talked about how much she loved baking. A big smile grew on her face when she talked about her techniques and her specialty flavors. I really connected with her because we feel the same way about baking.

It must have been hard to go back to school with a classroom full of peers ten years younger than her. She must have stood out from her whole class. I admire her for going back to school. After she got out of culinary school, she found that her education was really rewarding. Now, she is on track with her life and she is doing really well.

I expected to meet a nice, young baker who knows a lot about baking and is very experienced. Tyeshya was a very experienced baker, but she was not what I was expecting. She was a bit shy at first, but she eventually really opened up to me. I really got to know Tyeshya, and I had a great time interviewing her. She was really entertaining and I liked how comfortable she became with me over the course of the interview.

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A Place for Me in the World

From Mayor Menino to a race car driver, these profiles and interviews written by middle school students at the Mission Hill School explore students' career aspirations. Each interview features a wood-cut illustration of the subject.

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