NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Breaking News

PortWatch

November 14, 2012

Gaiero keeps insurance company a sweet place to work

Gaiero keeps insurance company a sweet place to work

New employees at Chase and Lunt insurance company never spend one moment of their first day at the Newburyport office feeling nervous. Kathy Gaiero makes sure of that.

As each new employee arrives at work for the first time, he or she finds a huge, handmade welcome cookie, baked and decorated by the Amesbury customer service representative.

While Gaiero, 58, admits the cookies began as a little joke, the ritual has fast become a favorite tradition at the State Street building.

“I’ll never forget walking in and seeing a peanut butter-chocolate chip cookie the size of a small bike tire that said, ‘Welcome princess Katie!,’” Katie Howlett wrote in an e-mail. “It was covered in purple and pink frosting, had Jolly Ranchers for gemstones, and featured a light-up tiara. I immediately felt at home in my new office.”

As her co-workers learn right away, Gaiero approaches baking with gusto — and a fun-loving attitude. She’s responsible for creating the birthday cake each month for the office birthday parties, and supplies food for company events and the art show receptions Chase and Lunt hosts for the community. And her pumpkin cake is considered a favorite breakfast item by her colleagues.

“I can’t tell you how many times she’s brought in lunch for a co-worker or randomly surprised us all with goodies first thing in the morning,” Howlett wrote. “She’s regularly saved me with a quick recipe to impress at parties, or thoughtfully sends me the information on dishes she thinks I’d love. She does all of this out of the kindness of her heart ... and her love of baking!”

That love first took hold when Gaiero was just a pre-teen, she said. One day she watched as her sister quickly made a coffee cake. It looked amazing, Gaiero said, and like something she could do herself. So, she got started simply creating cakes and breads from boxes of mix.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Special Features
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Special Features