100 Women, 100 Stories: Jacqueline Dole
Where do you live? Somerville, MA
What is your profession? Ice Cream Company Owner!
Ice Cream Company Owner?! Tell us more!! After finishing culinary school, I started working as a baker for several years. I soon found my way into restaurants and began working as a pastry cook. I worked in a good amount of kitchens over the span of a few years and I didn’t like what I saw; women were largely in the minority and more often than not, had to deal with blatant sexual harassment from coworkers. Substance abuse was more common than not. The prohibitive schedule and pay of working dinner service didn’t allow for an easy, healthy life; doctor’s appointments were hard to make and even harder to pay for. I decided that while I couldn’t live without cooking, I was going to do it on my own terms.
Tell us about your education. I went to college straight out of high school for two years and studied Photography. From there, I enrolled in culinary school and studied pastry.
Has anyone been a mentor to you? What role did they play and how do you feel about mentorship now? I feel like having a mentor is invaluable. I have always had people that I trust and whose advice I respect throughout my whole career, however no one specific person has been my north star throughout the years.
What’s the hardest thing that you’ve had to deal with in your career so far? Animosity from others in the industry; I’ve had chefs accuse me of stealing their recipes, former employers try and block me out of new opportunities, bosses calling me drunk and cussing me out about mousse at 3 in the morning…. This is not an easy industry for people with thin skin but the thrill of overcoming obstacles that other people put in your way is worth it.
What has been a really rewarding moment in your career? Starting my own business has been the most satisfying adventure I’ve ever been on. Having autonomy and creative control has become more and more important to me throughout my career however in staring The Parlor Ice Cream Co., I was able to have my say while still collaborating with so many creative and smart brewers, bakers, bartenders, baristas, chefs, farmers, producers and distillers.
What do you want to accomplish in your lifetime? I think that mentorship is really important; having someone you can talk to about obstacles and opportunities is something I always wish I had. I’d love to start a network to allow mentors connect with young chefs + aspiring business owners.
What’s something you want young women to remember when thinking about their future? You can do anything that you put your heart into.
What’s one thing you want to try to make an impact on in your lifetime? Food stamp reform! Access to affordable and healthy food for everyone! There was a period of time when I was between minimum wage baking positions and had no savings to speak of, between paying back expensive culinary school loans + expensive Boston rent. It took weeks to qualify for food stamps and I had to face the extreme stigma of going to a food pantry; without personal loans from friends, I don’t know what I would have done while waiting to be approved. There needs to be more attention paid to hunger in this country and we need to start with our neighbors.
Where can people find you on social media?