Baker finds new life in the kitchen
Linda Gumprecht shows off a tray of cinnamon rolls she made this week at Josephine’s Bakery.
Linda Gumprecht needed a change of scenery.
Unbeknownst to her at the time, a career change was in order as well.
Gumprecht grew up in the Springfield, Ill. area and spent a bit of her adult life working as a customer service specialist at a local hospital. On the side, she baked cakes and cupcakes, often selling them to friends and family.
Four years ago, she wound up moving to St. Louis.
“It was basically starting all over,” she said.
Gumprecht considered obtaining a clinical degree and moving up the ranks in the medical field. However, a visit to the Culinary Institute of St. Louis at Hickey College changed those ideas. She became intrigued about fulfilling a desire to be in the kitchen on a more permanent basis.
“Baking has always been my passion,” Gumprecht remarked.
She enrolled in the school in 2010 and earned her culinary degree last summer. During her time there, she competed and earned awards in individual and team competitions for desserts. Upon completion of the 20-month culinary program, she worked for a short time at the Clarksville Station. But in August, she soon found herself traveling a little further north to go to work.
She accepted a position at Josephine’s Bakery, located at 217 Georgia Street in Louisiana.
Some of the baked goods you will find on a daily basis at the bakery include pies, cinnamon rolls, turnovers, scones, cookies, and breads.
Special orders can be made by calling the bakery daily, Gumprecht said. Some of her past creative ideas include making a St. Louis Cardinal-themed cake and even a three-dimensional Harley Davidson cake that featured a working headlight.
In addition, Gumprecht helps serve soup and salad during lunchtime and also helps cook in the morning for guests staying in the bed and breakfast, which is located in the same building.
When time permits, Gumprecht can be found trying new recipes and learning what may be appealing to local residents.
“I want people to know we are here and get them to come in and try our stuff,” Gumprecht said. “I’ve had a lot of people say, ‘Wow, this looks different.’ I would like people to come in and give us a try. I am always up for doing special orders.”
Karen Stoeckley, owner of Josephine’s Bakery, said Gumprecht’s talent has been a welcome addition.” She has brought a professionalism to the bakery that provides handmade pastries and candies that cannot be found anywhere else in the county.”Looking back at her journey over the last few years, Gumprecht is enjoying her days in the kitchen.
“I’m doing what I love, but never thought of it as a career,” she said.