Courtesy of Bmore Media – After business analyst Tia Berry was laid off for the second time, she decided to take stock of her career and turn her passion for cooking into a new profession. Once she made up her mind, Berry, 42, wasted little time. She researched culinary institutes, packed her bags and moved from Florida to Maryland to attend the Baltimore International College (BIC) in 2010. Double majoring in professional cooking and professional baking, Berry was well on her way to realizing her professional dream when she hit another snag in her career track.
Last summer, as Berry was preparing for the fall semester at the 39-year-old culinary institute, rumors began to circulate that the college might lose its accreditation and close. Some students panicked and decided to switch cities, and schools. Berry, perhaps guided by the maturity that comes from experience, adopted a watch-and-wait approach.
Fast forward six months. BIC lost its accreditation, but Berry stayed put. She remains a culinary student in Baltimore, with plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in culinary management from Stratford University a year from now.
Maryland’s food industry generates nearly $3 billion a year in sales and employs 177,000. Having a four-year culinary school in Baltimore means that hopeful chefs meant that this money and talent – students like Berry – will hopefully stay in the Free State.
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