"I'm a C.P.A. by profession but this is, as my wife says, is my passion," said Rick Rickerman.
Since 2003, he's been baking breads and cheesecakes and selling them through his business, Cheesecakes and Breads by Rick. He's one of the top vendors Saturdays at the Market Square Farmers' Market.
"I just love to do it. I like the final outcome of the product,"
The process of getting breads from the ovens of his commercial kitchen in North Knox County to Market Square begins day before Saturday morning."
"Wednesday Night I feed my starter for my sourdoughs. That's maybe half an hour on Wednesday. On Thursday, I'll come in a little in the afternoon and make up what they call a pre-ferment for several of my breads. That that does is it allows the flour and the yeast and water to ferment overnight. Friday morning, from 6:30 to 7 o'clock we'll start. We can be here until 8 or 9 o'clock at night. I get up between 1 or 2 o'clock Saturday morning and finish the other things (like doughnuts and other sweet-type things) that we're taking to the Farmers' Markets on Saturday."
Rickerman and an assistant bake dozens of breads each week.
They literally have the production line down to a science, using grams as measurements so that the ingredients are exact.
"My best-seller is my ciabatta bread. Rosemary ciabatta..herb. Other big sellers are the sourdough, that'll go in spurts, nine grain. It just depends."
He's also known for his award-winning cheesecakes which he makes standard and even for weddings.
"My best seller is what I call my signature vanilla cheesecake. The chocolate cheesecake sells really well, which we have won several awards with that one."
While his artisan breads are a top draw, Rickerman admits that there is still trial-and error in his bread making.
"I made some eclairs last week and some were like this and some were like that. You're still learning no matter what you're doing."
Rickerman will be at Market Square through December. After that, he'll return in the spring when the Farmers' Market returns. To order his breads and cheesecakes visit www.cheesecakesbyrick.com