Hiram College

Hiram College’s student-run Terrier Bakery earned praise from business educators from the U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) conference on Jan. 11 in San Francisco.

The year-old student-run bakery was selected by a committee as one of three finalists to compete for the group’s “special recognition in entrepreneurship pedagogy” award. Professor of French Ella Kirk, faculty champion of the bakery, and Kay Molkentin, director of the Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship, made a 10-minute presentation to the entrepreneurship educators in attendance.

The bakery creates a wide variety of artisan breads and French pastries for sale to the campus and community, and involves students in every facet of the retail business, from actually doing the baking, to business planning and accounting.

“Everyone was very complimentary of our effort,” said Molkentin. “They were impressed that the bakery was conceived by a French professor, not business faculty, and the exposure of first-year  students to the idea of entrepreneurship.”

Kirk started the bakery in 2011, when her love of French confections led her to create a First-Year Colloquium called “The Art of Making Dough,” and freshman seminar, “Transforming Dough into (a Life of) Sweet Success.” The bakery has also spawned additions to the College’s curriculum with related, but separate courses in entrepreneurship and accounting.

Molkentin admitted the judges’ considerations may have been slightly influenced when they distributed samples of the student bakery’s newest product: a sugar cookie in the shape of the College’s terrier head logo.

“They were impressed with our innovation and the way we are using the bakery to teach entrepreneurship,” Molkentin said. “They encouraged us to keep it up, and to come back to the conference and the competition next year.”