Ladro Profiles: Karren Meyer, Bakery Manager

We’re shared Ladro Profiles of our owners and roaster, but we haven’t shared one about our bakery staff. If you’ve visited the bakery page of our website, you’ve seen Karren Meyer, Bakery Manager, at work. She is the baker in white, holding the breads and in the background working on the bench. Our bakers work early and long hours.  Because bakers don’t get the chance to meet the customers who enjoy the treats of their labor, we asked Karren a few questions to introduce her to you, our customers.

Caffe Ladro profiles Karren Meyer, Bakery Manager

How did you come to Ladro?

How Karren came to Caffe Ladro really starts with how Karren began working in the baking industry. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Food Science at North Carolina State, Karren earned her degree in Baking and Pastry at Johnson and Wales in Charlotte, NC. While in culinary school, Karren worked part-time in a bakery at a Lowes Foods, a major grocery store chain on the east coast.  She was the morning bake-off person, so she glazed the doughnuts, and baked the Danishes.  After graduation, Lowe’s promoted her to cake decorator.

Karren is a traveler so when one of Karren’s college roommates moved to Seattle, Karren came out for a visit.  She fell in love with Seattle and moved here the next year.

In October of 2007, Karren moved to Seattle.  Concurrently, the Caffe Ladro Bakery had an opening and what lucky timing that was! Karren interviewed the Friday after Thanksgiving, and was offered the job on the spot. She was quickly promoted to lead baker, and later to Manager.  For the last five years, she has made the Ladro Bakery run smoothly.

What do you like most about your job?

Two things that always make her smile are using the label maker and the laminator.  The days when Karren actually bakes and works on the bench are her favorites.  When asked about her favorite thing to make, she says, “Shaping and forming the croissants, maybe because I appreciate the effort that goes into making them.”  After all these years, she still enjoys all the goods we bake.

She enjoys managing her staff and they know she truly cares about them.  To share her appreciation, Karren makes pizza for the birthdays of each of her bakers.  The bakery holiday party happens in January.  Karren roasts a turkey and the staff bring pot-luck fixings to celebrate all the hard work that goes into the holiday baking they do for customers in November and December.

Caffe Ladro Bakery with Karren Meyer in the background

What do you do when you’re not working?

Karren has season tickets to the 5th Avenue Theater.  She enjoys musical theater, especially the shows with tap dancing, which seems to be a lost art.  She is really looking forward to the musical Hamilton touring.  She admires the Seattle Shakespeare Company, too.  She likes to read, shop, watch TV, cook and bake.  The way she knows she is in the right field is that she still enjoys baking in her free time.

Karren’s go to coffee drink is a Mocha–extra mocha, extra foam.

What inspires you?

Day to day, Food blogs inspire Karren.  Serious Eats and Smitten Kitchen are two of her favorites.  Food blogs for non-professionals, but for people who enjoy food, food photography and recipes that she can adapt for Ladro or for home use draw her interest.

Travel inspires her palate.  She can’t help but think about how to bring flavors back from her sojourns and use them at work and home.

As a reader, her favorite book is The Count of Monte Christo by Alexandre Dumas has been her favorite since reading it in 9th grade. Bridgette Jones, The Edge of Reason stands out for the happy ending and because it is laugh out-loud funny in the absurdly British way.

Karren lives in Greenwood with her cats Laertes and Ophelia.