April 10, 2011. I remember this date well. We had been married less than a week and were now making the drive back to Augusta as newlyweds. Augusta would now become my new home for the next three years as my husband, Clay, finished his dental school education.
After unpacking and settling into my new life, I decided it was time to start the dreaded job search. I had recently graduated from culinary school with a degree in Baking and Pastry after deciding that my Finance degree from the University of Georgia just wasn’t my true passion. Of course, my job search took a backseat for the day as I began perusing recipes online. This is when I came across the most luscious layer cake I had ever seen, a VeryVera layer cake!
Being the foodie I am, I quickly started researching the very familiar VeryVera name only to find out that it was located in Augusta. This was the sign I needed…I wasted no time and immediately reached out to the first company email address I could find. I knew, without a doubt, I wanted to be a part of this organization!
After several emails, I accepted an interview for a potential position at VeryVera. I sat in the café that afternoon – light green walls resembling lime sorbet, model-worthy cakes adorning the covers of some of my favorite high street fashion magazines, and the sweet smells of caramel (the VeryVera Caramel layer cake would later become my number one pregnancy craving!). During our meeting, I was instantly drawn in by Vera’s energetic personality; her passion for success and devotion to the VeryVera brand was absolutely inspiring. Vera remains to be the most charismatic, hard-working, and engaging woman I have ever met!
Several days later, I was informed that there was not a bakery position open, but as fate would have it, VeryVera had a Finance and Project Manager position available that I quickly accepted. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect fit! I was eager to put both my finance degree and culinary school degree to the test. It was a wonderful balance of juggling numbers and balancing the day-to-day operations of the Commissary and Catering division of VeryVera.
There were so many facets of my new position that I strived to learn and perfect. I embraced the daily challenges I was faced with and felt such a strong sense of pride and accomplishment watching the VeryVera brand succeed. Vera never gave less than 110% and for me, as her colleague, I found that sense of commitment to be contagious. I valued and looked forward to our morning meetings – her guidance, knowledge, and mentorship were invaluable. I respected her grit, determination for success, and most importantly her value of “always doing the right thing no matter the circumstance”. At first, Vera was just a boss but over the years she became one of my closest confidants and mentors – someone I could go to for not only professional advice, but also life advice.
In 2013, my husband graduated dental school and accepted a position in our hometown of Atlanta. I remember leaving Augusta (at the time six months pregnant with our first daughter) with such a heavy but full heart. I was grateful to Vera for giving me the opportunity to grow and be a part of the VeryVera family.
Fast-forward to today, and I am a proud stay at home mother to two beautiful little girls, Ella (5 yrs old) and Emma (3 yrs old) and another little girl due mid-September. Once filled with corporate meetings and catering events, my days are now filled with organizing preschool fundraisers, activities, and lots of giggles. What a blessing it is to be able to spend these precious times with my sweet little girls!
I often reflect on my time at VeryVera and somehow my mind always brings me back to one of my fondest memories – the days of Cooking Camp. There is nothing better than watching young children get their hands dirty in a kitchen. The clanking of metal mixing bowls, aprons covered in flour handprints, and the look of pure joy when finally given the opportunity to taste their sweet creation always brings a smile to my face. Children can learn so much just by being in a kitchen: teamwork, patience, and a love for cooking. To be able to share my love of baking with my children today is absolutely heartwarming. I hope to continue turning our special memories in the kitchen baking up a storm into lasting Cannon family traditions.
For now, I am enjoying my time at home with my children, but who knows what the future holds or where my passion for food will take me. In the meantime, I will continue whipping up my favorite VeryVera recipes as I have always done and share with the ones I love the most!