Chef Mary Boehne.
After a little more than a year on the job, Strange Donuts' corporate chef Mary Boehne is stepping away from the done zone. Her last day with the company will be this Saturday, October 3.
"I've been tossing around the idea of leaving for a little while now, but my mentality has always been that I need a job," Boehne explains. "But then I talked to my husband — who has been very supportive — and he said to me, 'You've been burning the candle at both ends and need to rebuild some wax.'"
Boehne joined the Strange Donuts team as corporate executive chef in July of 2014 to help with the growing company's expansion plans. Prior to this position, she worked for Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis as pastry chef.
"When I joined the company, we had all of this stuff that we wanted to do, and we've pretty much accomplished it," Boehne explains. "I thought to myself, "I've done all that I wanted to do here. Now, it's time to move on."
Boehne does not hide the fact that her decision to leave has something to do with her desire to open a restaurant of her own. However, no solid plans are currently in the works. "My goal is to have a place of my own, but honestly, the thought of that right now makes me cringe," laughs Boehne. "I just know how hard it is. I know I'm capable of it, but I just need a minute."
Boehne may not be ready to move forward with plans for her restaurant, but that doesn't stop her from dreaming. "It will most likely be a mix of savory and sweet. Of course everything will be made from scratch," she muses. "I love to do cakes, so whatever I do I will want that to be a component of it."
When asked about how her Strange Donuts family is taking the news, Boehne insists that their response has been nothing short of amicable. "They are all good — they totally get it," she says. "Of all people, they understand what it is like to want to do your own thing. They've been nothing but supportive and have told me that they are always there if I every need anything." Owners Corey Smale and Jason Bockman have also made it clear to Boehne that she is welcome to continue on in whatever capacity works for her. "So I will probably be doing some consulting for them in the meantime," Boehne notes.
Though she is excited for the future, Boehne looks fondly on her time at Strange Donuts. "We make all of the donuts from scratch, and all of those recipes — the fillings, the icings, the dough —- I wrote them all," Boehne says. "When they win awards, it makes me feel good. I can walk away knowing I was a part of that."
We are always interested in tips and feedback. Email the author at email@example.com.