Teil is up and at work before the sun has risen. She arrives at the bakery at 6:30 a.m, where her father is already hard at work making bread for the day. She begins whipping up cookies, or perhaps squares. Whatever suits her fancy, she says.
“We open up at nine, and I'm still usually hurrying to get things on the shelves,” laughs Teil. “I continue on baking throughout the day, and I'll start in the afternoon for tomorrows things.”
When the bakery closes, the Korneskis are still not finished quite yet. Because Teil and her father like to keep things in the bakery as fresh as possible, they sell and deliver their goods to various stores around town at the end of each day.
Though the hours can be anything but short, the nature of the job allows for some flexibility.
“It's an early rising, early to bed, up to your elbows in dough all day job, and you don't get done until around 6:30 or 7 at night,” says Teil. “But I don't really mind it to be honest. I'll take a little break in the afternoon, and you get your time off.”
Teil says she and her father make sure to take chunks of time off, like the days between Christmas and New Years. The first three months of the year are a slower time, so the shop is only open four days a week instead of five.
Teil and her father Keith own the small, fresh smelling bakeshop. They have since they opened it in November 2004, although baking environment and not something new for either of them. Teil grew up not far from Queens County in Broad Cove, where she says her parents owned another bakery until 1991.
After going to high school and university, Teil worked a number of jobs here and there such as a florist and a dental assistant.
“I've got to experience a little bit of this, a little bit of that,” says Teil. “Then finally my father and I decided to come back and do this. We knew we could do it, and it was a way to get back here and have a job.”
Although Teil says she doesn’t know if she’s ever had a clear idea of what she wanted to do, she does enjoy being her own boss. Of course she also, being a baker, likes to bake.
“I really just like the baking aspect,” she says. “I think it's fun to come up with new recipes and play around with decorating, that sort of thing.”
Teil says the bakery takes their usual orders for their own products, but they also get a lot of people who come with personal requests. In fact, she says in the past they have been given recipes from people in town.
“Our brownie recipe, when we first started it was a very different recipe. It was a cakey brownie recipe my parents made when I was a kid,” says Teil. “A customer came in and brought us her favourite brownie recipe. It was chewy, and people seemed to like it so we sort of adopted it and that's our brownie recipe now.”
“It's an early rising, early to bed, up to your elbows in dough all day job.” - Teil Korneski, baker
During the quieter times of the year, Teil says she does typically try and make time for the special requests she gets from people. Just last week she was asked to make hummingbird cake, something she had never made before.
“I had no idea what it was,” she says. “But a fellow said it was part of his tradition, and actually brought his grandma's recipe in.”
One of the most challenging parts of her job is to keep up with the demands of the customers, says Teil. Being able to adapt and find a balance between having what people want available, and what is possible in a day.
There have been times here and there when Teil says she and her father have not been able to give a customer what they want, but she also says her relationship with her customers is typically pleasant. She has actually gotten to know some of them pretty well.
“Some folks you just expect to come in and have a bit of a yarn, you know, sit and chat for a little while. Which I can do some days and can't do other days,” laughs Teil. “It’s typically just very friendly. People have been really great and have really supported us.”