When I started at Sosland Publishing 11 years ago, I worked for our sister publication Baking Buyer. About the time I was leaving that position, I was touring a retail bakery, and I mentioned that it would be my last bakery tour before I left. The owner gave me a wry smile and said, “I have a feeling you’ll be back. The baking industry has a way of getting into your blood.” At the time, I just laughed, certain that a cross-country move would end my baking industry relationship.

   But I had to smile, thinking fondly of that baker, when I walked back into Sosland Publishing a few years later, this time as an editor on Baking & Snack. So what about the baking industry draws people in and keeps them under its wing for a career and sometimes a lifetime?

   Through the years and assignments, I have been inspired by many aspects of the baking industry. I have seen a lot of different bakeries and talked to many baking industry employees from line workers and oven technicians to engineers and executives. It is quite impressive watching 500 lb of dough being dumped from a mixer. And there’s something magical about seeing dozens upon dozens of loaves of bread march their way down a conveyor belt. It is intriguing to learn about new technologies and discover how, for example, a new oven design can meet the special temperature curves needed by specific products. Although these technologies are amazing, that has not been what’s inspired me most.