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jeff hanselmann

Jeff Hanselmann Attends Culinary Institute of America Pastry Course

Photo: Ayn Hanselmann

By Lisa Blanchette

Four years ago, Jeff Hanselmann changed careers. People do that all the time, but Jeff made a very big change during a very difficult economic time. He went from a 20-year career in construction to opening Frannie’s, a mini-donut shop on Main Street in Sanford. He didn’t have a culinary background but had the support of family and friends who helped with business management expertise. He was also able to draw on his experience managing Captain Jack’s, a donut shop at McDougals Orchard, before opening Frannie’s. Jeff feels things have gone pretty well considering much of this four-year period has been tainted by the sting of COVID.

Without a professional baking background, there was a learning curve. Jeff said it was actually “kind of fun.” One can learn from trial and error and from the internet, but when the opportunity to apply for a HUB Grant through the Small Business Administration presented itself, he accepted the help, applied for the grant and was approved. He used this funding to attend a pastry bootcamp at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. The CIA, as it’s known, is one of the top culinary schools in the country. This was a chance to attend a formal culinary course in an expansive kitchen with 16 other professional bakers. Their instructor was a veteran professional baker with 50 years of experience, who was trained at Johnson & Wales, another of the top culinary schools in the country.

This experience may not have happened if not for the grant, so Jeff is thankful for the opportunity that the funding provided. He thoroughly enjoyed the course, especially its focus on the methodology of baking, and would consider taking more courses there or at other culinary institutes in the future,-possibly a course on artisan bread baking.

You will notice new additions to the menu at Frannie’s very soon thanks to this experience at the CIA. Croissants and puff pastries will be first. Then sometime in the future we should be seeing crème brulee mini donuts and possibly some mini cakes. If Frannie’s isn’t a regular weekend stop on your way through downtown, you might want to consider making it one!

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