It all began with an Easy Bake Oven and batter puffed to all its glory under the heat of a light bulb. From an early age, Jenny had her hand in whatever her mother was baking; the smells and flavors coming out of Mama Bergin’s kitchen in small town West Virginia were legendary. But what truly fascinated Jenny were the beautiful bakery cakes that her mother absolutely refused to buy -“Cheap ingredients, no taste!” That all changed with a school trip to Paris at the age of 12 where it became evident to the young chef that bakery goods could indeed be beautiful and delicious.
The journey continued as Jenny experimented with the tastes and inspirations she encountered while living overseas. Deciding to put some culinary “oompf” under her belt, she graduated from the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, then interned in one of the most successful bakeries in Paris, “Boulangerie-Pâtisserie Lohezic.” Upon her arrival in Charlottesville, Jenny worked at the Boar’s Head Inn, but soon decided to pursue her pastry dreams by working on her own and returning to work in her other life long passion – health and fitness!! (Hence, the pardox.)
While personal training, Jenny began practicing on and plying her colleagues with baked goods while taking special orders from her home kitchen. As demand increased, she realized that in order to increase production levels, she’d need bigger equipment and another “body” (Enter stage left: Maureen). With an empty basement in her house, Jenny found it relatively easy, but not cheap – Oy! – to start expanding. Adding a double stack convection oven, refrigeration, and a commercial mixer over the next several years fueled the realization of a dream. As bigger, better and more complex cakes and desserts readily emerged with the lightened load of no longer having to run three, small Kitchen Aid mixers through two cycles each just to frost and fill one wedding cake, the business pushed forward.
As the baking continued in the new home bakery, the lifelong dream pushed forward, relentlessly nipping at her heels. The vision wasn’t just to create incredible pastries, working in isolation and trying to earn a living, but rather to openly share in the good smells, conviviality and love that baking brings to us. Quite honestly, a public version of her mom’s kitchen.