Bread Bakers Guild Rises in Petaluma

“I love bakers,” declares Cathy Wayne, executive director of the Bread Bakers Guild of America, newly headquartered in Petaluma. The dough-masters in question are artisan bakers, who make up a large share of the Guild’s 2,500 members. These are the people whose passion is to get up in the middle of the night and sink their hands into flour and water.

“They are laidback, perhaps because they are used to waiting for the dough to rise,” Wayne says. “True, our bakers may have five digital timers strapped to their wrists, but compared to chefs, they are relaxed.”

Wayne ought to know. She is married to a chef, and has been shepherding the rapidly growing Guild since 2010. Born on a sheep farm in Hillman, California, south of Turlock, and raised in Modesto, Wayne studied at Sonoma State University. She had a variety of administrative jobs, including a 10-year stint as CFO for Riverwalk Jazz, a public radio series syndicated on over 220 stations, before taking the helm at the Guild. She has lived in Petaluma since 1974.

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