My name is Tori Spofford, I am the owner and founder of Full Glass Baking, a vegan and gluten-free baking company based in Merrimac, MA. My mission is to connect people through baked goods. I believe that food has a way of connecting us all, and have a core belief that a cookie and a conversation can solve just about anything. Full Glass Baking is rooted in optimism; the name is based on the expression: “glass half full.”
I started this baking journey in 2017, when I found the ‘flow state’ I needed while baking. By 2020, I fell completely in love with it. This past August, I decided to pursue baking full-time, and that’s when Full Glass Baking became official.
I had been an athlete ever since I could remember. For 20 years, it was my life. For my 20 years, it was my identity. For 20 years, I played sports to find my ‘flow state.’
Sports were everything. I loved my teammates; I love my coaches. I loved the atmosphere around competing; I loved how sports made me feel. When I graduated college in 2017, and no longer played field hockey, it was very difficult for me. Our world associates identity with labels. People are moms or dads, actresses or athletes, musicians or academics. When you grow up with labels, losing that title is like losing who you are. This is exactly what happened to me. I lost one of my labels, and I lost a part of myself. My world had turned upside-down. At the time, I didn’t realize that labels meant nothing. I didn’t realize my identity was ever-changing and had nothing to do with said ‘labels.’ I didn’t realize that life is fluid. My first year out of college was tough. I had just started a corporate job; I was a twenty-something trying to ‘find myself.’ I worked my entire life to get this job, and would come home exhausted, crying on the way home from my commutes. I thought, “is this really it?” I would call my mom and spew out negativity. She suggested I see a therapist. I suggested I shouldn’t. I didn’t think I needed a therapist. At the time, the mental health stigma was declining, but still ever present. I thought a therapist meant something was wrong with me, and I didn’t want anything to be wrong with me. I look back at that time, and now know I was very unhealthy — mentally, physically, and emotionally. Because I struggled internally, I decided I’d just try to go to as many fitness classes as possible, hoping if I ‘fixed’ my outside, I’d fix the inside too. If I couldn’t control my mind, I needed to control my body. Surprise!!! It didn’t help.
Long story short, during around this same time, I fell seriously into baking. Baking has a meditative quality. I’d follow recipes and not think about anything else. I’d focus on what was in front of me, the recipe, the bake time, the ingredients. I wasn’t thinking about work, or friends, or who I was supposed to be. I was completely present. I wasn’t worried about my future or the past. This present ease is something I desperately needed and intrinsically craved. Baking became my own therapy in many ways. I realized later that baking served the same purpose that sports did for me. Sports kept me in the moment, thinking about the play in front of me, thinking about my drive to goal. Baking had me focusing on the same thing — the present. To me, sports and baking are like magic. They are creative actions that transport me to the ‘flow state.’
What’s the flow state?
It’s the state of bliss from the act of creating, building, experimenting. You lose yourself in the process. You lose track of time, you lose your worries. You just are. Through baking, meditation, yoga, and self help books, I was able to overcome my anxieties and unhealthy behavior. After a few years working at my old job, this past August I decided it was time to leave it behind. I now own Full Glass Baking, LLC. I am the founder, owner, baker, and head of joy. This experience has been difficult, and fun, and challenging, and rewarding. Moving home and starting a business has given me more flexibility to enter ‘the flow state’ more and more often. I lose myself in different aspects of running this business that is completely my own vision and own creation. I don’t ‘work for the weekend’ and I certainly don’t get the Sunday Scaries. Sure, I still get nervous and anxious when I must execute or push my limits, but that’s part of the fun; that’s part of the growth. I live life in this kind of all-one-fluid thing. I’d say I ‘work’ every day. But some days feel more like work than others. I’ve also found new hobbies that tickle my creative bone — like poetry and watercolor painting — which help me find the flow state in other new ways. The ‘flow state’ is a good place. It’s a place you go to and you don’t even realize you’re there. You’re not planning to go there, but the creativity finds you someplace new, someplace special. I want to highlight the benefit of finding something that takes you into the present moment; how creativity can heal. Creating disconnects us from the outside world and connects us deeper to our inside world. As humans with technology at our fingertips, we are so connected; but we are so deeply disconnected to our souls, to the essence of who we are. We have our identities and ‘personal brand’ all over social media, but fail to dig deep and get to the skeleton of our innermost thoughts. Meditation is key. We’ve heard this. But meditation comes in many forms, it’s not just sitting on a pillow. Movement meditation: dancing, art, baking, walking, and yoga are other ways to give us the space to dig deeper into ourselves. It’s another way to find presence in our every day. It’s another way to get to the mental ease of the ‘flow state.’ Think you’re not creative? I used to myself. I thought I was just a jock. But here’s an exercise... Have you ever noticed little kids don’t ask “what should I draw?” They just explore. Take 10 minutes, be like a kid, explore. Don’t have the usual thought of what