Baking Mom is a culinary artist

by Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on Sep 01, 2010 - 04:17 PM

If it has to be baked and you need or want it, then Chef Linda Lock, owner and operator of Mom’s Bake Shoppe on Greenfield Lane in Gloucester, can fulfill your desire, if it is a necessity or just a whim.

Linda is a native of Pennsylvania of "Italian/German" ancestry. "I started cooking when I was five years old," she confided. "I began working with a chef when I was in high school. I guess I get my love for cooking from my grandfather. When he

Photo: If it’s a baked item and you would like some, Linda Lock, owner of Mom’s Bake Shoppe, can cook it up. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day.

If it’s a baked item and you would like some, Linda Lock, owner of Mom’s Bake Shoppe, can cook it up. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day.

came to this country he was a chef at the Stratton Hotel in Philadelphia in 1904."

It was while living in Hawaii that Linda decided she was going to do what she had always wanted to do, "go to cooking school." Four years later she had graduated from the Mesa College of Culinary Arts in San Diego, California: "two years of baking, two years of cooking."

Linda’s career as a chef has taken her to many parts of the country and she has had experience in all aspects of cooking, not always baking, but it’s in the field of baking where she certainly has found success. In 1981 Linda entered the Chef’s Association’s annual Chef’s Olympic Bake-Off, winning the blue ribbon and the grand-prize award with her "Alice in Wonderland" cake. "Everything was eatable, even the arms and legs. I used Twinkies wrapped in almond paste to make them."

The Locks have only lived in Gloucester for six years, but Linda has added another award to her collection. She won the judge’s choice award in the Taste of Gloucester.

"I do all styles of cooking," Linda said, but smiled as she admitted, "Italian is of course my favorite." Her husband Bill added, "She makes lasagna to kill for." Members of the First Presbyterian Church have a culinary treat every second Sunday. Linda heads up the Sunday luncheon group. After working at the Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg in 2007, Linda opened Mom’s Bake Shoppe. The rest is history.

Today Linda’s breads, cakes, buns, you name it, can be found in eight to nine markets in the area; and if you don’t see what your palate may be asking for, give her a call. She can do it. "When there are special orders, especially wedding, anniversary, birthday cakes, etc., I think about it overnight. Next morning sketch it out, then go to work. I try not to spend more than 12 hours a day in the kitchen."

Linda has perfected many of her own recipes, writing each one down, and eagerly emphasizes, "If I can’t eat it, I will not sell it. They go in the garbage pail. Bill is head taster."

Mom’s Bake Shoppe will be expanding. Linda’s ultimate goal: "A bake shop on one side and a coffee shop with sandwiches, soup, etc. on the other side. If I had it I would think I had died and gone to heaven."