Though he has spent most of his life protecting the South Florida community, Security Supervisor Mr. Michael Reardon has found comfort in baking, a not so typical activity for someone with a history in law enforcement and security.
His professional background includes 33 years as a sheriff at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, during which he worked the K-9 unit, high-risk warrants and crimes against children, among other things. As part of the K-9 and traffic divisions, Mr. Reardon was assigned to dignitary protection when presidents came to South Florida, including presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
“We were on an overnight stay and President Bush Sr. was here. We were all sitting at [a command post] at three in the morning eating cake, my dog is lying next to my feet, and we hear this guy go, ‘Is there any of that cake left?’ I go ‘Yeah it’s over here,’” Mr. Reardon said. “We turn around and it’s President Bush. He sat down, ate cake with us and petted my dog.”
When he retired from his eventful career in law enforcement, Mr. Reardon thought he would finally be able to take it easy. “Dr. Laurie called me up and said, ‘Hey, I heard you retired. Can you come see me?’” Mr. Reardon said. “I got to be retired for two days.” Since that call five years ago, he has worked in Heritage security.
While he works anywhere from 50 to 60 hours per week protecting the campus, Mr. Reardon still finds time to pursue his culinary passion. “I probably spend six to ten hours a week baking,” he said.
This lighthearted interest comes as a contrast to the heavy work he’s done in the police force, but that’s the point. “I can do it and just relax and have a good time, and I know people enjoy it,” Mr. Reardon said. “I don’t even eat it; I just give it to them,” with “them” referring to Heritage security, administration, the PTO and his wife’s friends.
Mr. Reardon bakes a variety of delicacies, including his lemon pound cake, which he commonly makes for the PTO. (Photo/Alex Rubenstein)
“When I first brought something in, [my coworkers] didn’t think I actually made it because they didn’t think a man could bake,” he said. However, with 70 years of baking in his family, Mr. Reardon doesn’t let stereotypes stop him. His wealth of cooking and baking knowledge entails over 100 recipes, his favorite being his pineapple angel fruit cake and “Death by Chocolate” cake.
Growing up with his father’s bakery, it’s no surprise Mr. Reardon continues his love of baking to this day. He has dedicated his life to serving others, whether it be in the form of protecting his community or bringing joy to others with a bite of his creations.