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Bridger Steel Project News, Highlights & Helpful Tips

Staff Spotlight: Nate Phinney

[fa icon="calendar"] 09/29/2015 / by Katie Smith

If you’re having metal delivered in and around Great Falls you might have the pleasure of meeting Nate Phinney, a jack-of-all-trades delivery driver who is just as comfortable backing a truck into a tight spot as he is bending trim for an order. Nate loves his job working with metal, but his real passion is baking cheese cakes with out-of-this-world flavors.  His job and his passion have more in common than you might think.

Nate made the Bridger Steel transition two years ago when the company bought the Great Falls showroom.  His strong work ethic and experience with metal made him a huge asset in the smooth transition between stores.  He started in the trim shop bending metal and learned to run the roll formers that bend coils of flat steel into one of our many profiles.

Bridger Steel Employee Nate Phinney Stands by his Truck

Nate is a delivery driver in Great Falls who is just as talented driving the Bridger Steel truck to job sites as he is baking cheese cakes.

Once he mastered bending metal he became a delivery driver for the Bridger Steel delivery service which transports metal panels and trim with all the accessories to job sites, businesses and homes. “I like being out on the road meeting customers,” says Nate. “I really enjoy being able to talk with them about their projects and to answer any questions they have before the installation.”

When Nate’s not driving trucks loaded with metal or bending panels in the shop, he’s baking epic cheese cakes with flavors like Dark Chocolate Cranberry Crunch and White Chocolate Raspberry.   He began baking these rich treats four years ago when, after receiving free tooth care from a dentist in preparation for a mission trip to California, his pastry chef sister taught him how to bake a simple plain version as a way to thank the generous dentist.  Now, four years later, he’s become a culinary craftsman, experimenting with flavors and styles for friends, family and special events.  

“Sometimes I feel like a mad scientist baking cheese cakes,” says Nate.  “You never know how something will turn out, but you just have to find out.  I might start to think, ‘Carmel and pecan, I wonder how that will turn out,’ and then you end up with a Turtle Cheese Cake.”

Bridger Steel Employee, Nate Phinney, Created this cheese cake

Nates favorite cheese cake conconction is Honey Glazed Peach.

Currently Nate has about 35 different original cheese cake recipes, but his favorite is Honey Glazed Peach.  He never writes the recipes down; they always stay in his head.  He’s always on the look out for flavor inspiration and enjoys the challenge.

You might not think that driving big diesel trucks and baking cheese cakes have much in common, but Nate will tell you differently.  “There is definitely an overlap in skills,” he says “At work you often have to problem solve to get the materials off your truck where the customer would like it, and with baking cheese cakes I have to do the same thing to find the exact temperature and time to bake a new creation.”

One of Bridger Steel Employee, Nate Phinney's, new cheesecakes.jpg

Baking new cheese cakes and Nate's job delivering metal panels both involve a lot of problem solving.

“Problem solving is a lot of fun,” he explains.  “There’s a lot of problem solving at work and you learn to improvise to get products off your truck or find a new location.  With cheese cake it’s the same.  You have to improvise to get the job done.”

Nate has honed his skills on the truck, getting metal to just the right spot and finding homes on rural windy roads, as well as in the kitchen making Cookies and Cream Cherry Cheese Cakes.  We are lucky to have his problem solving skills to get products to our clients and to be testers of his latest culinary creations.  If you see Nate driving the Bridger Steel truck make sure to give him a wave.


Katie Smith

Written by Katie Smith