Boston's pastry maven Joanne Chang has established herself as a determined, innovative fixture in this town. She has expanded Flour Bakery + Cafe while developing the Asian-inspired Myers + Chang restaurant alongside her husband, Christopher Myers.
Now, Chang is looking to open a fifth Flour location and could open a second restaurant in Kendall Square. The Boston Globe's Janelle Nanos offers an inside look into the life of Chang, the perfectionist, as she considers her next expansions. Here are 10 highlights from the delightful and in-depth profile, which is well worth a full read.
— "'If you wouldn’t serve it to your mom, we won’t serve it at Flour,' says Chang as she nibbles. (Her other standard: If she finds herself sampling long after a testing session is over, the item is actually good enough for the menu.)"
— "Finally, it's time for Chang to head to her on-site office — she calls it her 'breadquarters' and shares it with some of her workers — where she'll begin balancing the books to further plan Flour's expansion.
— "In high school, she was so focused on her studies that her parents used to encourage her to have some fun, enjoy her teens. She used to tell them she was going to a friend's house when in fact she was sneaking off to the library."
— "'I was like, There is the whole world of sweets that people eat after dinner,' she recalls."
— "If Chang was the flour in the relationship, stable and sensible, Myers was the yeast. He was the thing, she says, that helped the bakery rise."
— "But it was Mistral's Jamie Mammano, she says, who introduced her to the 'Perfect will be just fine, thank you' approach to leadership (though she notes the line is always delivered with a smile)."
— "But Myers says that Chang has never defined herself — or her success — in terms of her ethnicity or gender, and that in fact there are few things that rattle or agitate her spa-like demeanor."
— "Every time a customer posts a picture on Instagram of a Flour pastry, Chang studies it."
— "When they come to Flour, customers want their raspberry pop-tart, just like they want 'Thunder Road' when they go to a Bruce Springsteen concert."
— "The bakery shouldn't just be a place for delicious food, she says; it should be something that makes the lives of her customers and staff better."
In other Chang news, she has teamed up with Pinkberry New England to offer a special sticky bun-inspired flavor of froyo at Massachusetts locations of Pinkberry for the month of December. Plus, actual sticky buns from Flour will be available as a topping at those Pinkberry locations for the month. It's part of the company's new "Celebrity Swirl" campaign, and 10% of the proceeds from the flavor known as Joanne Chang's Sticky Bun will support Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry initiative.