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Pastry baker started her career in Animal Science

5:26 PM, Aug 15, 2012   |    comments
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She always loved to bake but it wasn't her first career path.

"I intended to be a veterinarian. Exotic animals is what I was in to," Anissa Shull said.

She earned a degree in Animal Science but working in that field wasn't fulfilling. So she made her way into culinary school and met her husband stuart along the way.

"We've been here for about ten years now, exactly, and we can't imagine being anywhere else. It really suits us, it called to us," she said.

Anissa and Stuart Shull are co-owners of Tellico Grains Bakery in Tellico Plains.

They live in the same building and work there Tuesday through Saturday.

She makes pastries in small batches.

"Everything is prepared fresh every day so you can't go wrong there. The ingredients speak for themselves," Anissa said.

Stuart is a longtime cook with an interest in baking. His specialties are bread and pizza baked in a wood fired brick oven. It is one of the few in East Tennessee.

"We built it ourselves with one carpenter and we just started laying down one block at a time until we created the oven that sits here now," he said.

They make pasties in the oven only if the power goes out. Pastries, bread, and pizza require different temperatures so pizza is available only on Saturdays.

Stuart explained, "We create a fire from around 6 a.m. to around noon every day and it heats all the bricks up and the bricks retain all of that heat and energy."

When the fire goes out, the heat stays in the bricks to create the perfect environment to bake bread with an exceptional crust.

"It's the old fashioned way is the best way to look at it. And we just feel it gives a superior product," he said.

Their products include pastries, bread, and lunch specialties like BBLTs.

"They're made with garlic mayo, benton's bacon, red onions, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato. They're kind of a big deal around here," one server explained.

The Shulls plan to stay in Tellico Plains. It's home.

Anissa doesn't regret for a moment exchanging Animal Science for pastry baking.

"I wouldn't trade the change for the world. I would encourage anybody to follow their dreams and just go at it with full force," she said.

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