By Elijah O’Donnell
Patrick Cunningham finished his baking certificate at NAIT in 2014 and is finishing his entrepreneur diploma this year. His wife Chaimae Janah-Cunningham just finished her management diploma, so when COVID hit they put their heads together to create Paddy Bakes, a YEG based baking company that focuses on homemade sourdough bread.
How did you decide to start Paddy Bakes?
My summer job fell through, so we were kind of just sitting at home, and I’d always made bread, just for fun. And then my neighbor was like, “I’ll buy a loaf from you because the stuff at the grocery store by our house sucks,” so I said, “Okay, I’ll sell you a loaf,” and then he came back and he said, “That was so good. I want one every week. And I told my friend next door, and he wants one too.”
From there, I thought, maybe I’ll just throw a story up on Instagram, just being like, “Hey, want some bread? I’ll sell it to you, I got nothing better to do.” And it really just blew up from there.
How has NAIT impacted your life?
Well, I found my wife there, who’s the other half of the business. Chaimae does all the social media and a lot of the managing. So this business definitely wouldn’t be a business without her.
NAIT is also where I went to school to bake. It’s where I got pretty good at baking and I would say, my time with NAITSA really gave me the confidence to be able to organize things, or I guess, spearhead big projects. It gave me that confidence that like, “yeah, I can plan stuff out and I can carry out stuff on my own. I don’t need a boss to tell me what to do all the time,” which you need if you’re starting your own business.
What are the most rewarding parts of what you do?
Bread is like music, it’s been around forever. It’s just part of what makes humans humans. It’s super simple, no one even knows when it was invented because it’s over 10,000 years ago.
Follow @paddybakesbread on Instagram and DM to order Bread right to your door.