An occasional survey of jobs both unusual and extraordinary, and the people who make them happen.
Theron Wagner remembers his bachelor party vividly – it was the day he realized that he might be in the wrong line of work.
“We had it down at Funland Pizza, I got everyone twenty dollars worth of tokens and five whole pepperoni pizzas.” He chose Funland because the Mormon-owned pizzeria prohibits the sale of alcohol or caffeinated beverages, providing instead six rooms of arcade games and a pair of karaoke stages.
“A lot of my co-workers were invited, but most of them left after an hour or so,” Theron recalls, “You work pretty hard at a bakery and I think they were all expecting to cut loose with something more than good old-fashioned fun and friendly company. My manager Dale actually asked me when the strippers were going to arrive.” He laughs, adding “Where would they dance, the skeeball lanes?”
“I didn’t see why a group of guys couldn’t get together to celebrate the most important day of a co-worker’s life without alcohol or naked women. My friends from church and I were more than happy to enjoy each others’ company, a pitcher of lemonade and a few songs.” Theron beams from his station behind the counter of his newly-established business, an unassuming and pleasant, sun-dappled corner store on the corner of Whilbey Ave and 55th. “I realized that what my co-workers thought of love and commitment wasn’t anything like what I expected from adult relationships.”
“That’s when I decided to leave the Erotic Bakery.”
On April 28th of this year, Theron opened the doors to The Non-Erotic Bakery, a seemingly incongruous mix between the traditional bread-and-cookies stock of the un-themed bakery and his prurient place of former employment. He admits that there’s a fine line to walk, “I used to feel very uncomfortable placing Hershey’s Kiss nipples on our old ‘D-Cup Cakes,’ or using chocolate sprinkles to represent a woman’s pubic hair on our ‘Cherry Poppin’ Daddy Napoleons,’ but it did occur to me that what those customers were looking for was a cake or cookie to represent something they thought was missing from their adult relationships.”
“It’s sad, when you think of it that way.”
So Theron decided to provide them with something more cogent, and more meaningful – He specializes in bachelor party cakes showing men and women chastely holding hands, bachelorette party treats reminding the wife-to-be of her exalted place in the hearth and home, ‘Embraceable You’ cookies, ‘Cuddle Cupcakes,’ and what Wagner describes as “the only non-vulgar bagels in the city limits.”
How is the demand for non-erotic bakery items?
“Well,” admits Theron, “Surprisingly slow, since mine is the first bakery within the city limits in the last seven years to NOT specialize in erotic theming.”
“Even Safeway sells that vanilla crème layer cake with the cupcake breasts on top.”
– Jon Morris, Kate Pitroff