Ayanna Julien, GA

Senior Writer

A native of “The Big Easy” with a D.B.A., Ayanna is on her second life in publishing as a freelance editor and writer. Formerly an HR professional and bakery owner, Ayanna’s work has been featured nationally and internationally on popular entertainment websites and business blogs, as well as in magazines and encyclopedias for EBSCO Information Services and Sage Publications. In her spare time, Ayanna volunteers as an editor for the Earthvillage blog, authors her own Chick Flick Theory blog, and enjoys mimicking recipes (sometimes successfully) from Food Network.

As a Story Terrace writer, Ayanna interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.

You Think You Know…

Years ago, I owned a retail bakery that specialized in dessert bread. Because my dessert bread was considered heart healthy, I was sure that it would be popular among adults, particularly older southerners, because of my bread flavors. I had it all figured out, so I was golden. But then again, life wouldn’t be much fun if there weren’t any surprises, right?

One of the true pleasures of having an upstart bakery was that I got to do things like go to local farmer’s markets. It gave me the opportunity to put a face to my company and sell my bread that I worked so hard to create. Though I was elated to find that adults loved my bread, something else happened. I started to notice that kids of all ages would come up to my booth wanting to taste-test samples of my bread, too. I was confused. Didn’t they know that my bread was made with fruits and vegetables? I thought kids hated veggies.

Apparently, kids were the biggest fans of my dessert bread at the farmer’s markets and the adults happily bought them for their kids. It was a win-win for me: I couldn’t have asked for better validation of the hard work and love I put into making my bread each week. And although I really didn’t expect the kids to say anything, that changed when one of my little customers said something to me.

One Friday afternoon at a farmer’s market, one of my favorite and most loyal customers came up to my booth requesting several mini pumpkin loaves. A minute or so later, her son came up to the table with a bashful look on his face. His mom then proceeded to tell me the story of how her son begged and pleaded with her to go to the farmer’s market to get bread from “the lady with the magic hands.” He was slightly embarrassed as his mom told me the story, but I couldn’t have been happier. I guess it is true what they say about “out of the mouths of babes,” but equally important: I thought I knew my customers, but as it turns out, I had no idea.

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