Helena Crane: Head Baker & Woman Behind the Blondies
From learning how to cook and bake for her mother and sister as early as age nine, head baker Helena Crane exemplifies passion and skill through her work in the kitchen of Vibrant Meals.
Exactly four years ago, Helena joined the company. Starting out as a helping hand with cooking, packaging, and portion control, her talent was quickly recognized as soon as she brought the renowned Vibrant Meals blondies to share with Marco, Romana, and the rest of the current Vibrant team.
“I baked them for the girls one day at Renew, a woman who worked there had given me a recipe,” said Helena. “I changed it, put butterscotch chips in it, made them gluten free, and everybody loved them.”
Women’s Renew, “a ministry of Calvary Chapel Chattanooga existing to offer hope and healing to women,” plays a role in partnering with Vibrant Meals and the community. Marco and Romana Biscarini, owners of Vibrant Meals and members of Calvary Chapel, met Helena years ago through the ministry of Renew.
“Marco and Romana give people a chance and make this a safe place for people to work at,” said Helena. “Marco has a really good heart. He will come alongside you and help you along with your leadership skills, whatever you need.”
Now that Helena has been with the company for four years and working as head baker, she has been able to bring her creativity and hard work to Vibrant's food. Every week, she bakes over 300 gluten free blondies, as well as all of the other baked goods and treats at Vibrant Meals. Even though she is constantly baking and creating, this position and craft is where she excels and finds joy.
“I’ve always wanted to be a chef,” said Helena. “I’m Greek and Italian so to make people happy, you feed them. When you feed somebody and you get a good reaction, it's just awesome.”
Growing up cooking for her family, she knew this was something that came easy to her. “I realized that I loved to bake and cook when I started to work at this gourmet food store when I was 18,” said Helena. “I got to work in every department and I found my passion.”
With the celebration of her four year anniversary with Vibrant Meals and the up and coming expansion of the company kitchen coming this year, Helena is looking forward to creating and baking even more in 2021 alongside her coworkers.
“Vibrant Meals is my family. It’s not just somewhere where you come to work, clock in, and leave. Some days it’s hard for me to leave here,” said Helena. “At the end of the day, I am grateful for this place. This place has helped me become the woman that I am today. Responsible, consistent, loyal. This place has helped me grow into that."
Written by Abigail Frazier
Photography by Uriah Young