The Hands Behind the Dough at Batch Bakehouse

Lauren Carter brings her baking talent back to Madison

Sometimes, life has a way of creating a path for you when you least expect it. Take the case of Lauren Carter.

Originally from Arkansas, Carter was working at a small bakery in Seattle, having moved there after attending graduate school at the University of Wisconsin. When a series of family health issues required Carter to commute back and forth from Washington to Arkansas, she decided to look for an opportunity closer to her home state.

After answering an ad for a pastry chef on Craigslist from Ian Gurfield of Ian’s Pizza, who along with then-partner Ian Garthwait, had just opened Batch Bakehouse in the Williamson Street neighborhood, Carter decided that Wisconsin was the place that she wanted to be. Plus, it was a much closer commute to Arkansas. So Carter accepted the job offer, and she and her family picked up stakes and returned to Madison.

The day at Batch Bakehouse begins between 1 and 3 a.m.—and that’s when the fun starts. Pies, pastries, cakes, bread and the famous Batch Bakehouse croissants are just some of the many treats being made every morning. There is a team environment that focuses on playing to the strengths of each chef. 

Carter says, “We have a lot of fun early in the morning, but much more fun while we’re open because we get to interact with the community every day.”

Carter recently became a partner of Batch Bakehouse after Garthwait left to pursue other opportunities. 

Carter never thought that she would become a business owner. But now that she is, she has stayed grounded and keeps everything in perspective. “My team is the heart and soul of Batch Bakehouse,” she says. “They are the ones that truly makes this a special place. I couldn’t do it without them.”

Derrell Connor hosts “Outreach” on NewsTalk 1310 WIBA, pens a column for Channel 3000 and freelances for Madison Magazine.

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