Tania Salas 2010

  • B.A., Theater and Film Studies | Sweet Briar College, 2010
  • Baker and co-founder at Flour Your Dreams Bakery & Cafe in Nashville, TN

Tania did not set out to open a bakery and cafe, but when her husband lost his job during the pandemic their lives took an unexpected turn for the culinary.

When the pandemic hit, Tania Salas and her husband started baking bread. But unlike millions of Americans, they never stopped.

They shared sourdough loaves and baguettes with their neighbors, which led to a bread club, which led to a farmers market stand, which led to a commercial operation supplying loaves and pastries to restaurants and coffee shops. Finally, in August 2023, Tania and husband Danny Greenberg opened the Flour Your Dreams Bakery & Café just outside of Nashville. They’re now baking more than 350 loaves a week along with more than 900 pastries and 380 cookies.

This wasn’t the future Tania envisioned when she graduated from Sweet Briar with a theater and film studies degree in 2010. It wasn’t what she imagined in early 2020 while she was working to support sales teams for a manufacturer. But she was ready for the challenge. “There’s no part of Sweet Briar that says you accept things as they are,” she says.

When her husband lost his job at the start of the pandemic, he threw himself into baking bread. As the business grew, Tania kept her job, but would help with the baking from 5 to 7 each morning and again after 4 p.m. She also started social media accounts that drew attention from local media to their products. They bought a commercial oven and baked in their garage. When they outgrew that space, they turned to a hotel kitchen that wasn’t being used during the pandemic.

Opening their own bakery brought a new set of challenges: finding a location, navigating the permitting process, and overseeing renovations. “What I’m using that I learned at Sweet Briar is the multi-tasking, wearing 10 hats at one time, constantly managing different tasks.”

She’s also brought her creative skills to bear on the project. “I designed the bakery. I designed the space, the layout. I chose the colors…. And the pastry recipes are all my creation, some years in the making. I am uncompromising and a perfectionist, so when I hear people say things like ‘Oh, this is amazing, I’ve never had a scone like this,’ it makes me so happy but it’s all worth it, because I didn’t stop tweaking the recipe until I thought it was absolutely perfect.”