Passion + Profits: Doing What You Love
House of Bread Bakery Cafe Serves Up Passion and Profits
The most compelling stories we hear are usually the hardest to believe. They are tales of seemingly ordinary people made extraordinary by difficult choices, admirable actions, and the willingness to share meaningful experiences without the expectation of reward. What feels better than knowing that good things really do happen to good people?
Early in her career, House of Bread Bakery Cafe founder Sheila McCann was already in the position to say she was doing something to benefit society, a career she felt was meaningful because it gave her the chance to help people. McCann was a criminal trial attorney who chose the tough path of public defender. She spent six years as a legal advocate before the heavy emotional aspects had her questioning the career path she had chosen for herself.
In the introduction of her current cookbook, “House of Bread Made Easy,” McCann recalls the moment of realization that completely changed the course of her life. The courtroom was her arena, and it was in that spot where she’d dedicated so much of her life that she decided it was time for a drastic change. McCann yearned for more peaceful days and comfort of baking bread during her youth. Was it realistic to think the memories that fed her passion for quality, nutritious bread could successfully carry her from the courtroom to the kitchen?
“Somehow I had to recapture the feeling I had with my Grandmother and still make a living while adding to the quality of other people’s lives,” she says. McCann poured all her resources and attention into doing just that, and soon after she opened the first House of Bread in San Luis Obispo, California. There was no doubt that she was making the right choice on a personal level. And financially? After all the determination, when the final decision was left to the public, McCann got a winning verdict. The bakery was hugely popular.
It only took three years before House of Bread sold its first franchise. McCann’s passion-fueled business has been serving up inspiration for nearly 20 years and shows no signs of fading. Today there are seven franchise locations known as House of Bread Bakery Cafe and the demand has never been greater.
At some point, every working person imagines breaking free from the daily grind in pursuit of his or her dreams. While some of us shake our heads at the likelihood of making it happen, McCann made it possible for herself and gives others the same chance by becoming a franchise owner. It’s understood that a delicious menu is instrumental to the bakery’s history and reputation. Perhaps the best part of the story is knowing that McCann did not have to sacrifice one ideal for another in order to build her franchise business, since passion and profit are both essential to House of Bread Bakery Cafe’s recipe for success.