One of the simple pleasures of Stevenson University is sitting in the Rockland Marketplace as a familiar voice calls out, “Fresh-baked cookies!”
Walter Schmidt is the baker at Rockland Marketplace, and he occasionally helps at Jazzman’s Café. He has been working at Stevenson for four years, and he loves every minute of it.
Schmidt grew up baking in St. Louis, Mo., where he started working at his family’s bakery in middle school. In order to get his baking certificate, he worked as an apprentice. Through the Department of Labor, he went to school one night a week for six hours. After three years, he had to take a written test and a practical test to be certified.
After Schmidt received his “journeyman papers,” (his certificate), he moved to Baltimore, Md., with his wife and children. He first worked at Weis Markets, but a co-worker, Erin Cooper, introduced him to Stevenson.
Schmidt supplies all the treats on the dessert table at the entrance of Rockland. Chocolate chip muffin tops are plentiful at breakfast, cookies are served at lunch and cake and cobbler are popular at dinner. There are other desserts as well, such as cupcakes and puddings.
He says he likes to try to have sugar, rainbow sprinkle and Oreo sugar cookies on Tuesdays; sugar, M&Ms and chocolate chip cookies on Wednesdays; snickerdoodles on Thursdays; and chocolate chip cookies on Fridays. Usually when making the cookies, Schmidt bakes 10 trays at a time so he can bring warm trays of cookies to the students.
“Absolutely the best part of my job is being able to get out there and pass the cookies around to people while they’re warm. I really love that,” said Schmidt. He explained that one reason he likes baking for the students here is that he understands the stress they are going through, and he hopes his baking makes people happier.
Schmidt will not be leaving anytime soon, explaining that he “could wrap up my career here.” His personal favorite dessert is a chocolate chip cookie, but he urges students to come to Rockland and have a taste — there are plenty!