- photos courtesy of jam bakery
Shiel Worcester started Jam Bakery from her Richmond home kitchen in summer 2013. By day, the baker turns out pastries alongside Andrew LeStourgeon at Hen of the Wood, but she says she's used Jam to explore her medium and develop her own signature approach to the oven. For the past year and a half, Worcester has been baking pies, tarts and other sweets for friends and family and selling her wares wherever she can.
Now the Vermont native, whose résumé includes time at David Chang's Momofuku Milk Bar in New York, is taking her business to the streets. Worcester recently purchased a Ford Econoline van and is working on outfitting it as a mobile pastry truck. Look for her at ArtsRiot's weekly Friday-night South End Truck Stop this summer.
Worcester says she's looking to bring Momofuku-style desserts (including homemade ice cream) to Burlington. "I'm more of a mom-and-pop kind of baker," she says. "It's not going to be really refined desserts." Think ice cream sandwiches, bars, sundaes with homemade toppings, and cookies and other dishes inspired by Worcester's recent travels in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.
While in Southeast Asia, Worcester says, she took cooking classes from local bakers. Her pastry-van idea had its genesis abroad, as well. "We stumbled upon this guy selling coffee out of this converted VW bus," she recalls, "and it was like, Oh! I guess I don't need all these things [to have a mobile eatery]. When you think of a traditional food truck, it can get really expensive. I couldn't do that, but this seemed doable."
After raising close to $7,000 on Kickstarter in January, Worcester is working on developing her menu and getting her wheels ready for the road. "I feel like my ideas are changing every day," she says, excited for the road ahead. "I'm just looking forward to offering the people of Burlington something different."