Philip Copeland, Bakery Manager, San Francisco
Every month we’ll be spotlighting a different Woodlands employee to connect you with our team and learn more about what they do day in and day out to keep their departments running smoothly. We appreciate our hard-working employees and want you to get to know them!
Philip Copeland has been managing the Bakery Department in our San Francisco store since it opened last year. Philip works hard each day to keep our shelves stocked with the tastiest, freshest baked goods available. Our customers appreciate his commitment to supporting local bakers, his friendliness and warmth with customers, and his passion for the bakery!
What originally brought you to Woodlands?
I started working at Woodlands in February of last year. Before I applied for the position, I spent some time walking around in the Kentfield store, and I was drawn to how friendly and genuinely happy all the employees were. This is usually not the case in the larger corporate stores I’ve previously worked at. Before Woodlands, I had worked as a Bakery Manager, cake decorator, and baker for over 20 years for a couple of larger grocery chains. Running my own business is a dream that I had, and I was able to open a cake shop in Carson City, Nevada which I owned and ran for two and a half years. There was too much work involved in owning my own store though, and now I’m at Woodlands in a great, friendly environment doing what I love.
What does a typical day at Woodlands look like for you?
As soon as I get to work, I start baking the croissants and cookies and receiving the daily deliveries as they come in. I then fill up the cases and set everything up—I grind and brew the coffee and basically getting everything ready to open. Once we’re open, I interact with customers most of the day. I’ll also take some time to write and call orders in and look around for new, interesting products that we can bring into the store. I’ll call vendors to see what new products are in stock and try to get them on our next order. Though we have our consistent inventory, I always try to offer new items when we can. It’s busy and exciting.
Where does the Bakery Department get its inventory?
We use about eight to 10 different vendors, some of which deliver one product while others deliver a number of items. Some of my favorites include Barr Necessities in Oakland, which offers vegan and paleo cookies that sell out really fast, and SoCal vendor Le Chef, which makes delicious fruit tarts and breakfast Napoleon. At the moment, we’re still looking for quality crème brûlée and someone who can make a good St. Honoré cake, éclairs, and old-world-style desserts. We’re always on the lookout for new products, but we also try to be consistent in what our three stores offer.
What are your customers like in the San Francisco Bakery?
Our clientele includes mostly local residents, as well as people who work in the neighborhood that come here during the lunch rush. Customers here are mostly grab-and-go, although sometimes we get special requests for platters of bagels and Danish and such. I would say about 80 percent of our purchases are small, individual purchases—unlike in our Marin stores, larger family orders aren’t as frequent here.
What is your favorite thing about working at Woodlands?
My favorite thing about Woodlands as a company is that everyone here, from the owners on down, are incredibly friendly and approachable. If you have a question they’re always quick to answer, and the staff here really cares about each other.
For example, I’m training our Barista Kayla Florio right now on Bakery operations, but she’s also teaching me how to make all the coffee drinks—she knows more about them than I do. She’s friendly, helpful, eager to learn, and is great at customer service. Everyone here is like that, and it makes for a really enjoyable atmosphere in which to work.
My favorite part of my job is the customer interactions. Customers here are friendly and outgoing—we know many regulars on a first-name basis, and there are many great people that I enjoy serving and interacting with each day.