The first thing to know about Shannon Dowen-Ronda is that she is easy to talk to, among other things, about baking. Baking seems to be Shannon’s favorite thing to do, and we are all grateful for that at Bountiful Bread. Shannon joined our family just about 7 months ago and things have changed for the better.
Sometimes your birthday wishes just happen to come true. This happened for Shannon as last year her first day at Bountiful just happened to also be her birthday. “I was looking for a place for myself to grow while doing what I love— baking.” Like many of us, Shannon’s career didn’t start in baking powder; in fact, in a past life, Shannon worked at Metroland Magazine and even started her own music production company called, “Shannon Crossbones Presents…” and while she loved the industry, Metroland’s time in Albany slowly came to a halt. “I was wondering what I should do with my life next, this was an opportunity to change course.” You know those “light bulb” moments that we are so fortunate to have go off at points in our lives? Shannon’s happened while watching Food Network.
From that moment, she enrolled into Schenectady County Community College’s culinary and baking program and took full advantage of the wealth of information and education surrounding her. “I was a dedicated member of the American Culinary Federation (ACF). I loved it, I was even the Vice President of the the Success Chapter and won a few medals during completion. I truly worked hard as a student, as I wanted to learn everything I could possibly learn in my time there.” Shannon also took opportunities to learn at Zachary’s, was a Pastry Chef at Yono’s, moonlighted at New World Bistro, learned how to perfect French pastries at Mrs. London’s, hand-crafted chocolates and other delicacies at Krause’s Chocolates, and truly fell in love with homemade, handmade creations at Scratch, formally in Albany, NY. “Scratch baking is huge for me. I believe in taking the time to create something that is 100% whole.” There’s no secret why she’s a perfect addition at Bountiful. In her time here already, she has introduced new fun twists to classic recipes such as Bundt cake and our brownies— which have been instant fan favorites (both staff and customers alike!).
If there is one thing in common with our staff at Bountiful it’s the fact that they are creative and passionate about making quality food. “I have a very balanced approach to things. I want things to be a different experience, every time you experience it. Otherwise, it’s not worth it.”
When Shannon isn’t in the kitchen, she’s spending time with her supportive husband, Brian, eating our new brownies, reading and collecting vintage recipe books, and traveling— in fact, she’s visiting Europe next week. “I believe that if you’re not continually pushing yourself to grow, there’s no point. It’s all about getting to be the best at what I can do.” Personally, I’m excited for what new inspired-by-Europe treats she’s going to bring to Bountiful!
Come in and say hi to Shannon and while there, try the new brownies!