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Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Ambitious Achievers (Matthew Baker, Caterer)

6 minutes

MALE: I love all different kinds of foods.

For dinner, I would say chicken, because you could come up with lots of different sauces, depending upon your mood. It could be a tart sauce, or maybe something sweet and light, with tomato sauce.

For dessert, caramel fudge cake or pineapple upside down cake.

I think our personalities are very important. Oftentimes, the salesperson will bring us, me and Sean, in for a consultation with maybe somebody who's thinking about having us cater their wedding, and I say, you don't need us. He always says that our personalities are what close the deal. And Feast On This is also important to the name of our company.

NARRATOR: Growing up, Matt Baker loved to cook. In fact, his whole family loved to cook. Quite often, they would go out to restaurants and talk amongst themselves about how different foods were prepared. It's from these experiences that Matt pursued a career in food preparation. Matt went to community college and studied the field of culinary arts and did internships at various hotels in Northern California. Matt moved back to San Diego, and that's where he met his current business partner, Sean Mazerolle.

MALE: When Sean hired me many, many years ago at the Doubletree Hotel, I was working as the restaurant hotline cook. We had a team, Sean, his assistant, who worked with me closely, and who saw what I could do, and basically told Sean, I was a good hard worker, and decided that I should be part of their team. I realize that, for myself, I was a little overwhelmed by the whole hotel industry. It was very monotonous. A lot of politics involved. And I decided to look into more of a catering business, because it's something different every day. You could put something on at a zoo or a park or somebody's private home or beach, and that, to me, seemed like more fun. At the same time, Sean had always wanted to open up his own business, too. And so we met several times about the idea of opening up our own business. The more we talked, the more we realized how similar we were and decided we would make very good business partners. We decided to go ahead and try that. Then we found the perfect place. Let's just go ahead and do it. When we first opened the business, I think the most important thing was for us to focus on the food and the marketing so that people would know who we were. And then, as the business progressed, we started thinking that maybe it was time to start to create some new foods and ideas, which were very successful. Next we wanted to get more involved with government contracts, like military food service. We were also very successful there. So our next goal is to produce a line of food that we can sell in supermarkets. We're going to go into the canned soup business and hopefully sauces later and frozen foods after that, locally first, and then hopefully nationwide.

SEAN MAZEROLLE: Unlike a restaurant where you have foot traffic, you have people coming in all the time. Here, we have to go out to our client. In order to capture that revenue, capture that client, we offer them a tasting. Come on in, see the facility. We give them food, and that usually sells them. So we pick up another client. It's very fun. We like it.

MALE: I figure it will be good for business to promote the place, to show what a beautiful place it is, show them around, show them the kitchen. Give them some food. Have them meet us. I think it will be good for the company.

For me, as a deaf person, and my partner, who is a hearing person who signs, communication I think is very, very important. And I want everybody to feel comfortable, and so we do try and have a balance of 50% hearing and 50% deaf working together, and they make a great team. At the same time, hearing people learn about deaf culture and feel more accepting about deaf people, and the hearing people say, wow, deaf people and hearing people can work together without a problem, and they learn through the experience.

I think that as deaf people, we can do anything, that there are no barriers, that we do have frustrations along the way, but that we can still accomplish and overcome those frustrations. That as technology makes our lives better every day, interpreting services, paper and pen, gesture, whatever we need to do to get our point across. I think that the world is easier for us than it was in the old days and that we have to keep pursuing that and making it easier for the future generations for the deaf babies of today.

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In this segment, Matthew Baker discusses his love for cooking. He is a caterer and enjoys helping people plan important events like weddings. He attended community college and studied culinary arts. His degree helped him open his catering business. Part of the "Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Ambitious Achievers (Vol. 5)" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 6 minutes

Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 1
36 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 2
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 3
9 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 4
10 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 5
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 6
27 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 7
32 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 8
8 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 9
7 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 10
9 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12