Mentorship Is the Secret Ingredient

Meet bakery superstar Barb Pires

Article by Sean O'Keefe

Photography by Jolie Loren Photography

Originally published in BuckHaven Lifestyle

Culinary genius and globally applauded bakery consultant, Barb Pires, a proud member of the Les Dames D’Escoffier International (LDEI) Atlanta Chapter, has parented some of the greatest Atlanta bakeries from their inception to the pinnacle of their success. 

“My father always wanted something sweet after dinner,” says Barb. “I started making cakes and brownies from box mixes until one day when I got out a cookbook and made brownies from scratch.”  Barb’s drive, creativity, and quest for the incredible are echoed in her every movement. Whether working with Metrotainment Cafes to develop a bakery program for the restaurants; helping to grow H&F Bread Company to a multi-million dollar business; becoming the director of operations for Piece of Cake; or, in her new role as director of operations for Henri’s Bakery & Deli, you have likely tasted the sweet results of her dedication and discipline.  

Barb’s involvement with LDEI has been a passion for her since she became a member of the organization. Through their outreach programs, LDEI works with counselors at high schools in Georgia to mentor women and offer them scholarships to pursue their dreams of working in the culinary world. “If I had an opportunity or even had someone suggest when I was graduating from high school to go to culinary school, I would have done so,” says Barb. “I have met some of my best friends through LDEI. The connections that I have made over the years have enriched my life in so many ways.” Currently, Barb serves as the treasurer for the International Board of Directors for LDEI and is continuing to leave her profound mark on the worldwide organization.

“2020 was the year of accountability and communications,” says Barb.

It was also the year that Henri’s Bakery & Deli was able to donate over $100,000 in lunches to first responders, hospitals, and fire departments. “We were able to keep most of our staff and help out the people that were helping so many others.”

Barb has fond memories of growing up and what a treat it was to spend the night at her grandmother’s house, never knowing what delights she would be making for the family. Even though Barb has yet to perfect her grandmother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe, she has shaped and reshaped the commercial bakery industry in Atlanta and beyond.

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