Carla Finley, Baker & Founder
As the child of generational restaurant owners, Carla Finley (she/her) has been immersed in the industry for most of her life. Her baking career started on an apple orchard in the Texas Hill Country in 2006. After a number of years baking in Austin, Texas and later transitioning into restaurant operations and private dining in New York City, Carla decided to pursue her longtime dream of bread baking, starting out at She Wolf Bakery and later, Il Buco Alimentari. In April 2020 Carla started Apt. 2 Bread in her home kitchen in Brooklyn, New York.
1. What has surprised you most about starting your own business?
The pace of it all... just how quickly my circle and my community rallied behind the idea and showed support almost immediately. Before I knew it I had established a name, a website, devoted customers, and best of all a purpose during a hard time.
2. What is the most fulfilling part of your job?
The sense of community that I feel and thrive off of everyday; to collaborate with, to trade with, to co-support, to mutually cast aside traditional business values and instead focus on expanding our collective experiences.
3. What challenges and silver linings have you uncovered as a business owner during the pandemic?
As a white cis female I'm ever-aware of the position I hold in our oppressive society and because of this I make sure to revisit my privilege daily, especially as it ties into my business. It can be a challenge to advocate in the right way, to be sure not to latch on to trends when doing so, to listen and not just scream into the void, and to use my privilege for good, even on a hyper-local level. I focus this energy into supporting others. I make sure that the content and branding I choose is mindful and inclusive for anyone who might be following my journey. The silver lining has to be this: a dark year with rich discovery.
4. How do you make time for yourself?
I set boundaries between my self and my business and I make sure to take days off.
5. In what ways are you blossoming right now?
I'm planning on a small expansion this spring and can't wait till all the pieces are in place!