Passionate Pursuits of a Gap Year Intern

By Kaila H. Johnson

There are times in life when exploration is at our fingertips. When our identity is being grasped and moulded all at the same time. Where questions outweigh the answers, and the quest for understanding and foundational formations are sought. These moments are cherished—and sometimes dreaded—as the inner workings of life unfold before our very eyes. These were the moments that led Jess to a Gap Year Internship with us at Luminary Bakery. 

Luminary Intern with Cake

As school came to completion for Jess, uncertainty about committing to a specific study was at the forefront of her mind. As friends prepared for University, and what seemed like certainty was for the taking, her loved ones suggested to take a year for exploration. It wasn’t until she started following Benjamina—blogger, baker, food stylist, and Luminary Ambassador—on Instagram that her passion for baking and heart for people began to align. Jess quickly jumped at the opportunity and started to research more about Luminary Bakery. 

After some hesitation, she mustered up the courage to email them not only her CV, but her portfolio and baking background! To Jess’ amazement, they responded ecstatically with interest. After the usual interview and assessments, Jess joined the Luminary family as our Gap Year Intern in Autumn 2018!

When Jess was asked about the impact Luminary has been during this Gap Year Internship, her response speaks volumes about this fierce generation rising up.


“Luminary encouraged me in both my passion for food and bettering the world around me—training me up with new skills. 
They enabled me to realise the part I want to play in ending world hunger, as well as writing programs [food hygiene programs] for people who don’t speak English as their first language—to rewrite them with less complex wording.”


Jess’ heart for encouragement and joy-filled persona has been infectious during her internship here as she’s mastered the art of crafting the perfect flat white in our cafe, tested and decorated our Easter Parsnip & Orange Cake, and courageously assisted and taught in our training programmes. These sincere qualities will remain within the walls of Luminary, well beyond her sad departure next month. 

As she looks towards beginning Food Science and Nutrition at University, her hope has always been and will continue to be that each woman that comes through the doors of Luminary truly believes in themselves.


“Luminary has been a safe place—to wobble and make mistakes! We build each other up and share the load.”


From uncertainty to passionate pursuits, this has been a Behind-The-Scenes Moment with Luminary’s harmonious Gap Year Intern, Jess!



  1. Favourite Luminary baked good?: “It’s got to be the Carrot Cake… every time!”

  2. A surprising fact?: "I wanted to be a dolphin trainer.”

  3. Guilty pleasure?: “The TV program, Anne of Green Gables.”

  4. Favourite place you’ve traveled?: “Portugal”

  5. What makes you laugh the most?: “My sister.”

  6. If you could have coffee with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be?: "Mary Berry!”

  7. Current favourite music?: “George Ezra.”

  8. Go-to Karaoke music?: “High School Musical… I absolutely loved it!”

  9. Puppy or kitten?: “Puppy.”

  10. Sky dive or bungie jump?: “Skydive!”

  11. Beach or city?: “Hmmm… beach.”


To learn more about Luminary Bakery’s Gap Year Internship program, click here.

Follow more of Jess’ baking story on social media: @baking.beans.


Kaila has the honour of helping Luminary Bakery put words to the amazing stories taking place throughout this inspiring social enterprise. When she’s not writing, you can find her exploring the world of art, trying out new nutritional recipes, or savouring a locally roasted cup of coffee. Stay connected through her blog or Instagram @kailahjohnson.

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