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  • Last modified 86 days ago (Aug. 30, 2017)

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Labor filled with love

A baker’s edition

Staff writer

In the wee hours of the morning when most county residents are fast asleep, sisters Emma Lee and Catie Zurcher are baking away in FamLee Bakery in Marion.

Zurcher arrives at midnight to begin the prep work and the baking continues as Lee’s alarm buzzes at 5 a.m. to arrive by 6 a.m.

“Some days are tough, but for the most part you just get used to it,” Lee said. “My favorite times are when it’s just my sister and me in here in the really, really early mornings while we get to do what we love. We like the quiet of it, but there’s also the camaraderie of the two of us baking together.”

Lee said some early mornings feel longer than other days, but she always knows her hard work will be appreciated.

“The end of the day makes the mornings worth it,” she said. “It’s when you see how sold out your case is or when you see happy customers and hear their compliments.”

Likewise, Rachel Collett bakes away in Marion’s CB Baked Goods with the occasional help from a part-timer, but just about every product is made by her.

“There’s not some little elves in the back room whipping out bierocks,” Collett said. “I enjoy the pace of being here, and I think what I like is that my customers know that anytime they come in here and buy something, I made it. If they bought a bierock last week, they’re going to know it will taste just like the one from last month and six months ago because it’s just me.”

Rather than early in the mornings, Collett stays past her shop’s 1:30 p.m. closing time to bake.

“I’m here very late in the day,” she said. “There are many days I am here till 7 or 8 at night baking, especially during busier weeks. It is stressful sometimes, but I’ve gotten to where I can plan accordingly and get things started a little sooner.”

And while CB Baked Goods is closed Mondays, those are not off-days for Collett.

“I’m not off partying,” she said. “Monday is my most hectic baking day. I’m down here by myself all day with no interruptions to get ready for the shop to be open the rest of the week. Anybody you talk to will tell you the prep work — getting the dough ready, the fillings ready — and all that kind of stuff, that’s a big part of my day. ”

But in the midst of stressful baking times, she remembers why she spends long hours near an oven.

“I have always liked to bake, and I like to bake anything,” she said.

Last modified Aug. 30, 2017

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