Zoë Bakes Media
At the heart of Zoë Bakes Media is content creator Zoë François—author of 10 cookbooks, host of her self-named baking show on Magnolia Network, and teacher of online courses encompassing 20,000 eager students. She has been baking professionally for nearly 30 years, growing in the industry as the world has evolved. Her career began when there were still no cell phones, of which, François states, “I can’t imagine baking now without a camera to document every step.”
A jack of all trades, François works in many fields: the food industry, social media, book publishing, photography, and broadcast television. Though many side hustles go into the Zoë Bakes Media production, culinary art is at the helm of it all, with her working around the clock to perfect her craft. Once she realized that food—pastry in particular—was how she expressed herself, she started working tirelessly at it, putting in at least 10,000 hours. Recently, she went to New York City to take an intensive course on macaroons, always seeking inspiration for her baking.
Her mission is to encourage people to feel confident in not only baking, but all creative endeavors. It all started in college, when she crafted her first baking business named Zoë’s Cookies. After getting her BFA from the University of Vermont, she discovered that artists were her people. She says, “At the heart of everything is my love of baking and the community of food people.” That experience with Zoë’s Cookies set her professional path in motion, leading her to rediscover her joy of baking later in life. Her husband was her biggest support, encouraging her to attend culinary school. Now, her philosophy is “just say yes,” finding thrill in stepping out of her comfort zone.
Though there are many contributors to her success in the industry, she credits most to curiosity, generosity, hard work, and luck. Always striving to pay it forward by sharing her journey and experiences, she says, “I have found it immensely helpful to have mentors who have guided me along the way.”