Pastry Arts Employment Training

Employment TrainingSunflower Bakery’s intensive and results-oriented Pastry Arts Employment Training Program prepares our students for employment in bakeries, supermarkets, restaurants, catering companies and other food-related businesses. The program includes:

  • 240 hours of formal pastry instruction, learning an extensive and customized curriculum.
  • Comprehensive employee development and 160 hours of on-the-job training, including preparation for ServSafe Certification and customer service training at Café Sunflower. The curriculum includes strategies for workplace communication, problem-solving, time management, resume’-writing and interviewing.
  • A 160-hour paid internship in our production kitchen.
  • Guidance and assistance with securing and sustaining employment.

In addition, we add a few special ingredients to increase success:

Designated Support Person. Each student must have such a support person (e.g., family member, social worker, friend, service provider or other person/agency representative) who will provide support during training, internship and employment.

Job Preparation. We help develop good work skills, appropriate work behaviors, attitudes, and values. The industry-specific skills our students learn are applicable to a wide variety of fields and jobs. These highly transferable skills include closely following verbal and visual directions, precision and accuracy, efficiency, and problem-solving.

Is Sunflower for me? Click here.

At Sunflower we:

  • Work in a fast-paced, sometimes stressful kitchen in close proximity to other students and chefs
  • Share space and work calmly and cooperatively with peers
  • Learn in a multi-sensory environment with bright fluorescent lights, loud noises and warm temperatures that requires hands-on work, at times with sticky and gooey doughs
  • Stand for four hours at a time, bend, lift, and move heavy items such as 30-50 pound bags of flour and large heavy trays
  • Routinely use objects found in the kitchen, like chefs’ knives and zesters, in a safe manner

To view our Curriculum, click here.

You can also download the Curriculum as a PDF.


Pastry Arts

Sunflower’s 45-day Pastry Arts Curriculum is taught in our production kitchen. Students learn a structured curriculum, focused on technique and methods including measurement, ingredients, and use of equipment. This knowledge is applied to their preparation of pies, bars, cookies, quick breads, meringues, cakes, icings, fillings, decorating, packing and presentation.

Employee Development

There are two components of employee development training:

  • Students learn a full range of “soft” skills using our interactive curriculum, all geared toward being a successful employee .Topics include goal setting, hygiene, time management, personal responsibility, problem solving, efficiency and effective communication. During the internship, job search topics include resume’-writing, interviewing, how to look for a job, a personal portfolio, and the composition of a personal statement.
  • ServSafe Certification is a national certification program that provides food safety training to industry employees. All students receive the Food Handler’s certification. Students who are ready may prepare for the Food Services Manager exam. The ServSafe Food Manager’s certification is a valuable credential when seeking a job.

In-house paid internship

Under the supervision and tutelage of the chef-instructors, students work for 300 hours over a 4-month period on the production of Sunflower’s pastries and baked goods. Students are typically scheduled for four shifts, approximately 20 hours/week. In addition, our interns work at Café Sunflower for one week, learning essential customer service and front-of-house operations

Guided Job Search

During the internship, our staff works closely with students toward getting a job. Each student finishes the program with a Personal Portfolio to present during interviews. The Portfolio includes a resume’, personal statement and curriculum summary; ServSafe certificate; photographs of student’s work, and the Sunflower Bakery Certificate of Completion.

Short-term Job Monitoring

Once a graduate secures employment, our Employment Services Director will collaborate with the on-site supervisor to provide direct support as needed, during the first week of employment, and then ongoing monitoring during the first three months of employment. Our Employment Services Director will remain in contact with the employee and available to the on-site supervisor/employer for consultation/intervention for those three months.

Interested in our Employment Training program? We want to meet you and show you around our kitchen.

To arrange a visit to the Bakery, contact Sara Portman Milner, Director of Student Services at