Baking Up Happiness

What started off as a hobby became a way to live for Jessica Monroe.

Jessica has been baking for 10 years and although it took her a while to find her passion, she’s making a sweet name for herself in the baking industry.

She got her first baking job at Baskin-Robbins around the same time she started baking on her own. She enjoyed working there so much that she’s still there ten years later. It’s not her only source of income, but she loves how much they appreciate her hard work.

“I like being creative outside of home.”

Jessica loves baking for Baskin-Robins, but she too has her own business: Jessica Dessert Studio.

“Everything I bake is from scratch…I like it that way,” Jessica said. “I like that I can be more flexible and creative.”

For most of her life she’s enjoyed baking. During the sixth and seventh grade Jessica took a home economics class. She noticed she loved the baking portion more than anything else in that class.

“It was something I’d always looked forward to.”

Before baking entered Jessica’s mind, she planned on being an elementary school teacher. Jessica and her cousins played school as children and since she was always the oldest, she was the designated teacher.

Every morning Jessica checks her emails from the night before. She responds and then takes a trip to the grocery store, if needed.

Jessica appreciates her customers because she knows they could go to any major bakery yet they choose her. Jessica only does two cakes per week so she can produce quality work.

“I don’t like to rush,” she said. “I like to enjoy my time while I’m doing it.”

This is her passion but if she takes on too much it then becomes a task for Jessica. For her, “it’s not always about the money," it’s about the customers and her own happiness.

It’s hard running a business out of the kitchen of a house, but it's easier when you have a great support system. Her husband, Kendall Monroe, helps deliver the cakes. Depending on how much is needed to move the cake, Jessica won’t charge a delivery fee. Her sister and mother help as well--they bring clientele to Jessica.

Some cakes can take 2-3 days to make while one cake can take four. Jessica made a three-tier Cinderella cake: each tier had four layers of cake to serve over a hundred people. The cake had to be stored, put together the day of, and delivered.

Baking is not an easy job, but Jessica loves to see her customers’ reactions.

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Jessica started baking for herself back in her studio apartment with Kendall, which is where the 'studio' in Jessica Dessert Studio comes from.

“That was all I had,” Jessica said. “It’s where I started my business part of baking.”

The ‘Jessica’ obviously comes from her name and the ‘dessert’ is the most important because it means she offers multiple goods, not just cakes.

Located in Plainville, IL Jessica hopes to open her own bakery. She's taking business classes and she's self-teaching herself how to be a business owner before she takes the next step.

“To stay up to par,” Jessica makes sure she knows what cake trends are going on.

And if you didn’t know Jessica makes “a really bad ass red velvet cake.”

Jessica did something she’s always wanted to do. While in New York, Jessica finally had the chance to see the popular, TV-show bakery: ‘Carlo’s Bakery’ in Hoboken.

“It was just real,” she said. “I was shocked.”

A baker’s dream was reached that day.

Years ago, she couldn’t see the signs clear enough, but baking never left her side.

“Baking and cake decorating was always in my face,” she said. “I was looking for something else.”

No longer searching for her dream because she’s now looking it in the face every day.

“It’s always on my mind.”

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