Jose Herrera can honestly say that baking is in his blood. “I come from a baking business family,” Herrera said. “My father was an old school baker all his life. I first started baking as a part-timer when I was a junior high school student near Chicago.”
To enhance his skill set and boost his career opportunities, Herrera attended Bakery Science and Technology Class 175. “My class had so many great students from all over the world, which made it so interesting,” he said. “I learned so much about different cultures, and every day in class was exciting. It was such a good atmosphere, with all of the instructors and participants helping each other out. Every day I was there was just great.”
After completing the BS&T course, Herrera was promoted to assistant production manager. “When I returned to work from the course, I was able to share with my co-workers all the knowledge and experience I gained at AIB,” Herrera said.
Herrera is currently as a production supervisor for New Hostess LLC (formerly IBC Hostess) in Schiller Park, IL, where he oversees the HoHo line. He also assists with other lines including Twinkies, cupcakes, Sno Balls, and other popular New Hostess products.
“I would highly recommend to anyone going to the BS&T to go in with an open mind, and learn everything that is made available to you,” Herrera said. “No matter how much you think you know about baking, or how many years you been in baking, the science and function of ingredients is the most important. I never thought about that until I learned it at the BS&T. You learn all about the ways you can replace or substitute ingredients, how to do tests on ingredients and doughs—endless situations. That part of the course has truly helped me at my workplace and allows me to help my coworkers when there are problems.”
Having benefited personally and professionally from attending the BS&T, Herrera encourages other to pursue the opportunity to attend. “The course not only gave me more knowledge, it provides you with more career opportunities in your current workplace or for future jobs,” he said. “Don't be afraid to ask. The teachers are great, and they always take the time to help one on one. Just enjoy and learn.”