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Why My Son Works At La Patisserie

When I was 11 years old, I spent much of my summer working in my father’s dry cleaners. It was small town Texas, it was 105 degrees, and it was my summer vacation. All I wanted to do was be like my friends, riding bikes, playing with toys, and swimming. But my parents insisted that we leave the house at 8am and spend the morning pressing clothes, loading washing machines and sorting through jeans worn by cowboys which had their own “unique” smell.

While I resented it at the time, I came to realize the benefits of working those summers. I gained new insight into what my parents actually did. I learned a new appreciation of money from the (small) paychecks I received. And I learned the importance of hard work.

So, when my son turned 11 years old, I started bringing him to La Patisserie. He folds macaron boxes, fills our macarons, and serves our French pastries. I’m so proud as a business owner and as a mother to see how he’s doing. He is learning how to interact with customers, he is learning how to multi-task, he is learning how take initiative. Most importantly, he is learning what is means to be on your feet for 6 hours straight, hustling, to earn a paycheck. While he won’t necessarily admit it, I know that he looks at all we have with newfound gratitude and looks at others who might be struggling with newfound compassion.

Admittedly he has it easy by being surrounded by my incredible staff and our fabulous macarons and French pastries instead of manure-covered jeans. But I’m hopeful this leaves a lasting impression on him, and one day, he takes his son or daughter to his work so they can learn the same lessons.


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