Meet Our Family: Crystal Kitchin

Overseeing all of our locations might sound daunting, but our illustrious general manager of cafés, Crystal Kitchin, starts each day with a smile – and maybe one of our pastries too! Her indelible spirit and drive are palpable, which undoubtably motivates our team members and keeps our customers coming back for more. Having recently celebrated her anniversary with Macrina Bakery, we caught up with Crystal to chat about her time in this essential role, what it means to work for Macrina, and how she unwinds from it all.

Crystal Kitchin

As Macrina Bakery’s general manager of cafés, there’s never a dull moment, I’m sure. What does a typical day look like for you?

I would have to say that this is very true. There is never a dull moment, but my days are never typical – unless you expect the unexpected on a regular basis. I usually start my day around 6:00 a.m. and it doesn’t slow down. But, seeing the sun rise never gets old. I work closely with all the café managers and crew on a daily basis. You can find me in the cafés helping customers pick out a pastry or making a latte any day of the week.

What do you love most about your job?

I love working closely with all the cafés’ employees and getting to know the regulars at each location. The best part of my day is seeing the regulars and knowing we are a big part of their morning rituals that can’t be missed.

What are some of the highlights of your time with Macrina?

  • Working closely with Leslie Mackie has been an honor. She is an inspiration.
  • The holidays are crazy but a lot of fun. We get to send our customers home with the best bread and holiday treats to enjoy with their families.
  • Last year I had a chance to make dinner and feed the homeless with Macrina at St. James Cathedral. This has left quite an impression on me, and I would like to do more to help our community.
  • Promoting crew members from within and helping train them for successful roles at Macrina Bakery.
  • [Assisting in] renovations at our Belltown and McGraw locations to help them be more efficient and create more space for our customers.

What is your favorite thing about Macrina Bakery?

I love working for Macrina and what it stands for in terms of quality, customer service, and care for our employees. We continue to grow but maintain the personal connection with our customers.

My favorite bread is the Olivetta – it pairs well with just about anything or is great by itself. The ingredients and products are made with so much love and soul that it’s so hard to pass up trying something new and delicious everyday. I would also say the employees that make up Macrina are filled with the same ingredients, which makes it a pleasure to go to work everyday.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I enjoy spending time with my husband and our husky. I also enjoy kayaking, swimming, and anything that has to do with being outside in the summer. Cooking is also one of my passions. I enjoy playing around with different recipes to make them healthier.

Meet Our Family: Fanny Alvarado

Fanny Alvarado, our phenomenal wholesale manager, found her way into the Macrina family when life took an unexpected turn. Shortly after earning a degree in business administration in Mexico, she made the fateful decision to enroll in a United States cultural exchange program as an au pair in hopes of improving her English language skills before starting a career. She never intended to stay in America once the two-year program with her host family was complete, but she also did not expect to fall in love with Washington, Macrina Bakery, and the man she’d eventually marry. Recently celebrating her five-year anniversary with the company, Fanny is sharing about the early days, what she loves about her role, and where you can spot her around town.

Fanny Alvarado

You were an au pair before joining the Macrina family. What brought about your career and life shift?

Being an au pair was never my end goal. However, I am grateful to have been involved in a cultural exchange program as an au pair for it gave me the opportunity to expand my horizons. It also connected me with many wonderful people, some of whom were directly involved with Macrina and led to my start with the company and contributed to my desire of staying in this country to work for an artisan high-end bakery in Seattle.

What do you enjoy most about working as the wholesale manager?

I really enjoy the level of human interaction. Our company has been growing since I started and this makes it a very fast-paced and always evolving environment. Keeping up with the fast growth is what’s kept me challenged, and for me being challenged is what I enjoy the most. I like never having time to lose and always being on the go.

What does a typical day look like for you?

The day goes really fast, from touching base with the delivery as soon as [I] get in, making sure customers are being taking care of by our [customer service representatives], figuring out solutions to problems we have never had, and setting up procedures to improve the way we do things in general. Lots of planning and procedure setting.

What has been the highlight of the past five years?

It’s hard to say. The first year working here in 2008, the biggest highlight was that we moved to a bigger facility – from Belltown to SODO. After that just the fast growth is impressive: going from 11 drivers and six delivery vans to 20 drivers and 11 delivery vehicles.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Wow! I don’t know where to begin. I love the beauty found in nature; it draws me to do adventurous things – anything from big beautiful mountains, large green forest to lakes and rivers. There’s much around us to enjoy! I like the outdoors, hiking, camping, rock climbing, snowboarding, kayaking, and rafting.

What is your favorite thing about Macrina?

The diversity in… everything! The products, cultures, and flavors; this place has become part of me! The people I work with are great. Our people-oriented culture inspires me. The difference in our bread is that we don’t have machines making products, but instead they are hand-formed by our bakers. This gives an authenticity to our products, and it’s something I love about our bakery. Just as every person at Macrina is unique, so are our breads. The owners are amazing people. Nowadays, it’s hard to find employers that care this much for each member of the company and also care to do the right thing. This is one of the reasons why I love my job here.