BUSINESS: Bailey Bocci of BB’s Kitchen in Antrim works to meet individuals’ meal needs

BB’s Kitchen owner and chef Bailey Bocci stands in her home kitchen.

BB’s Kitchen owner and chef Bailey Bocci stands in her home kitchen. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Bailey Bocci recently finished work on a backyard garden, where she grows ingredients for her dishes.

Bailey Bocci recently finished work on a backyard garden, where she grows ingredients for her dishes. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

BB’s Kitchen’s Italian sub pasta salad.

BB’s Kitchen’s Italian sub pasta salad. PHOTO COURTESY BAILEY BOCCI

BB’s Kitchen baked goods for sale at the Post & Beam in Peterborough.

BB’s Kitchen baked goods for sale at the Post & Beam in Peterborough. PHOTO COURTESY BAILEY BOCCI

Blackberry purple velvet and lemon poppy cupcakes by BB’s Kitchen.

Blackberry purple velvet and lemon poppy cupcakes by BB’s Kitchen. PHOTO COURTESY BAILEY BOCCI

Strawberry rhubarb pie by BB’s Kitchen.

Strawberry rhubarb pie by BB’s Kitchen. PHOTO COURTESY BAILEY BOCCI

Pan-seared sea scallop with parmesan risotto and spinach from BB’s Kitchen.

Pan-seared sea scallop with parmesan risotto and spinach from BB’s Kitchen. PHOTO COURTESY BAILEY BOCCI

By CAMERON CASHMAN

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 06-25-2024 12:02 PM

Cook and personal chef Bailey Bocci of Antrim has almost a lifetime of experience.

In her BB’s Kitchen business, she draws from that extensive experience to provide personalized meal preparation services for residents of southern New Hampshire. 

“I started off cooking and baking right at home with my grandmother and mother,” Bocci said. “They are Italian and just love to cook – so I learned a lot from them.”

At the age of 15, a close family friend offered Bocci a job at their cafe and bakery, where she rose through the ranks and further developed her love of the culinary arts. She worked there until she was about 18, when she decided to enroll in Franklin Pierce University and pursue a degree in psychology.

“I was convinced that I was going to go into psychology. I wanted to be a marriage and family therapist,” she said. “I ended up hating it. I love psychology, but I realized the whole time I just wanted to be in the kitchen.”

So she dropped psychology and ended up getting a job in the Franklin Pierce kitchen as a prep cook. During her time there, she got experience doing more “commercial-style cooking,” she said, “versus the small hometown-style” that she prefers. 

After leaving Franklin Pierce, Bocci moved back to her hometown in Connecticut, where she continued to work at her family friend’s cafe, eventually becoming the kitchen manager there. That involved menu planning, staff management, opening and closing up shop and other major responsibilities.

“I was there seven days a week for almost two years,” she said. “But I loved it. I gained so much knowledge from that place.”

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But Bocci’s heart was back in New Hampshire, so she ended up returning to the Franklin Pierce kitchen, where she worked as a sous chef. But that wasn’t really her style, as she wanted more freedom and opportunity for creativity. She eventually found herself working in senior living, “where I never thought I would go to,” she said.

“Their whole mindset was eat fresh, eat local,” she said. “So I got a ton of experience there – cooking fresh seafood that got delivered twice a week, all different kinds of meat – it was kind of a higher-end kitchen for senior living.”

Bocci ended up at the Bridges by EPOCH assisted living facility in Nashua. 

“They have a huge culinary team. I was able to work with many other directors across their 18 buildings that they have, so I gained a lot of experience working with the really talented chefs there.”

With plenty of experience under her belt, Bocci decided to pursue her dream of owning her own business. She began a small bakery out of her home, and sold her products from the farmstand in front of the house.

After about two years of working full-time and operating her home bakery, she decided she wanted to leave her kitchen director position in Nashua and focus on her business full-time. 

“So I decided to further expand BB’s and offer in-home cooking,” she said. “That way, I can really specialize in working with different people with different diets.”

Bocci emphasized her ability to craft dishes that adhere to a variety of dietary requirements, which she became experienced with due to the variety of diets she accommodated during her time in senior living.

Over the three years that she has operated BB’s Kitchen, she has slowly expanded to include as much fresh, local produce as possible. She just completed work on a backyard garden that will allow her to offer fresh herbs she has raised and picked herself.

“All of my plates really emphasize the fresh, local ingredients,” she said. “Being able to grow my own is really beneficial. I plan to offer those to my clients and through the farmstand too.”

Bocci also owns ducks and chickens, whose eggs she uses in her cooking and baking.

Bocci is a member of the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA), which means she is fully insured and certified as a ServSafe Manager, which ensures food safety.

“I strive to bring fresh, healthy and creative dinners and baked goods – whatever culinary experiences people are in need of,” Bocci said.

BB’s Kitchen offers personal chef services including planning menus, shopping, preparation and cooking. For information, visit bbskitchennh.com.