Eastern Center for Arts and Technology (EASTERN) 2006 Culinary Arts / Cheltenham High School graduate, Meghan Connolly, is co-owner of DuffyCon Productions, a local, home-based bakery, and the Pastry Chef at the prestigious Cricket Club. After graduating from Cheltenham High School and completing EASTERN’s Culinary Arts program, Connolly continued her education at The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College and decided to pursue her degree in Pastry Arts. She participated in an accelerated program at the Restaurant School and graduated with her Pastry Arts Associate Degree in 2008.
Meghan was raised in the food industry, as her family owned a local tavern in Northeast Philadelphia. When she was in eighth grade at Cheltenham, she toured EASTERN, and immediately knew that the Culinary Arts program was for her.
In the years after college graduation, Meghan spent a great deal of time working for Aramark and the Starr Restaurant Group. Through these jobs, she worked as a pastry chef at Citizens Bank Park, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia Convention Center, as well as three different Restaurants owned by Stephen Starr. She assisted in the opening of four different restaurants before the age of 26. She also spent some time as the Pastry Sous Chef at various bakeries and one vegan restaurant. While working at a South Philadelphia bakery, she met her DuffyCon Productions business partner, Miranda Duffy, a graduate of Mercy Vocational School and the Art Institute of Philadelphia. Connolly and Duffy discovered that they worked exceptionally well together and that their ideals and standards were parallel. They started their business with a wedding cake and now have officially been in business together since 2015.
“The time I spent at EASTERN is easily one of my fondest memories. I was heavily involved in the student government program, SkillsUSA, where I learned leadership skills as well as many other important skills that I still carry with me today in my career,” said Connolly. “I met some of the most talented, passionate people while I was at EASTERN and I still have great relationships with many of my former classmates and teachers.”
EASTERN’s Culinary Arts program enables students to acquire a variety of skills including soup and sauce preparation, preparation of meat, fish and poultry entrees, baking, kitchen sanitation, purchasing and inventory controls