December 1, 2015 | noon
By Monique Kleinhuizen '08, Communications Strategist
Megan Greulich ’06 was a psychology major with minors in reconciliation studies and art history. She was a resident assistant, sang in the Bethel Choir, and worked in the Monson Dining Center. In addition to her busy class and extracurricular schedule, she had a passion for creating beautiful baked treats through her small business, Consider a Cake. For Greulich, the endeavor wasn’t just about creating special occasion cakes, but about touching lives. It was an opportunity to be salt (errr…sugar?) and light in a broken world.
“There’s something spiritual about baking,” says Greulich. “Pastries bring people together. Cakes are a part of our celebrations. Food is a powerful thing in that way.”
On November 28, Greulich was featured on Food Network’s “Christmas Cookie Challenge,” competing against four other contestants for a $10,000 prize. Megan advanced through the first two rounds of the competition, but unfortunately didn’t take home the top prize.
Mary Janssen, former executive chef for Bethel’s campus food service provider, Sodexo, remembers how Greulich loved being in the kitchen even as a student. Greulich once participated in a Sodexo “Iron Chef” competition, representing the student body by preparing the dessert portion of the menu.
“During my years at Bethel I got to spend a lot of time with the student managers in the dining center,” says Janssen. “I think that was the most entertaining part of my job at Bethel…working together to make a challenging and demanding job as fun and creative as it could be.”
Megan’s creativity—and her “Minnesota nice”—came through during her Food Network debut. She crafted a unique line-up of sweet goodies, including a platter of ugly sweater cookies for the final round of the competition. Their glittery, festive designs were inspired by Christmas songs and left the judges smiling.
Greulich is a baker and general manager of Groundswell, a St. Paul neighborhood café co-owned by Tim and Alicia (Boyd) Gilbert, both 2005 Bethel graduates. In 2013, the company added a bakery and food kitchen, offering an expanded menu with some of Greulich’s baked goods front and center. The Groundswell approach to business is community-centered and family-friendly, bringing a welcoming presence to the Hamline-Midway neighborhood. For Greulich and her team, gathering at Groundswell is as much about relationships as it is about food.
“A huge piece of why Groundswell was started was to have a place where people can gather and do meaningful things,” says Greulich. “It’s just pastries and coffee, but it matters. Baking brings people together. It’s my sweet spot. It’s my ministry.”