The Story Behind...


Kay & Sons crew   •   Scotland,  c.1920


My family were bakers in Scotland for many generations.  This photo shows my grandpa (far right), great-grandpa (center, with the stylin' mustache) and other relatives in front of the family bakery - "Kay & Sons" - in a village between Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland.  My guess is this was taken around 1920.  My family are immigrants to the U.S., and very proud of our Scottish heritage.

When I was little, I had the chance to make shortbread in my mom's kitchen with my grandpa.  I saw his hands working the dough, using only the heel of his hand against the cutting board. I watched him tweak the oven temps down partway through baking. He understood how to do it so intrinsically, it stayed with me.  I understood he practiced a craft with precision, and there was family history woven into it.

My dad also worked with his hands, although in a different way.  He installed carpet and was in the union.  I worked with him on occasion and saw his deep understanding of little details that meant he always made it look great, even in complex/difficult situations.  He also took a lot of pride in his work, and was always in demand without ever promoting himself.  He was a dedicated craftsman.

The name "Photo Bakery" hearkens to the lengthy history of baking and also more generally to practicing a craft I love, honing the skills involved over thousands of hours of focus and learning.  In my own way, I'm carrying on my family tradition and am proud to represent my family today.

we're no' awa' tae bide awa',

   we'll aye come back an' see ye