I want to admit, first of all, that the name "Jojo & Co" was not my creation. That honor belongs to a creative, slightly left of the dial manager from the beer hall at Surly. All props to Brian!
Jojo & Co has long been the tagline for my staff and I and our delectable creations out of the pastry kitchen at Surly Brewing Company. I have had 5 very good, challenging, infuriating, loving, and incredible years there. I have learned a lot about pastry, friendships, managing, leading, teamwork, etc. I cannot count all the ways I have grown, personally & professionally, in my time there.
COVID is testing the restaurant/hospitality industry in away it's never been challenged before. It is forcing us to look at out flaws and improve upon them, or dissolve into the chaos of the volatile local economy. Meaning, pastry departments are expensive to keep and their roll in restaurants is changing. If I'm being honest, it was changing before COVID started.
The value of sugar work has been diminishing in our community, either from lack of interest, new found dieting, or tighter budgeting. We are looking down the barrel of extinction. To be replaced by ready made, fresh from the box, mass produced food shaped sugar.
As with so many other things, we're learning that we must be more conscious of what we're getting, where we're getting it, and making sure that it is something worth having. The toxicity of our wasteful culture needs to be reformed into something better, something healthy. Being a pastry chef, yes I say that starts with your sweets! I know, you hear this diatribe all the time, but, local and responsible sourcing of your own food will do wonders for the environment and the culture we live in.
While I'm still the pastry chef for Surly, I'm taking COVID upheaval as an opportunity to expand my base and show you all what I can do for you! Welcome to Jojo & Co. I hope we will be fast friends for years to come!