Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Noonan.
Hi Amy, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Growing up, I always had a serious sweet tooth, but I was notoriously awful at baking – even screwing up box mixes; it just never clicked with me. However, in 2009, I went vegan, and the arduous journey to finding vegan-friendly sweets in my area left me empty-handed. So, I started baking for myself.
It all started with a snickerdoodle cookie – light, pillowy cookies rolled in cinnamon sugar. I started to share them with my friends and family, and they loved them, so I started to wonder what else I could veganize. This led me to enrolling in the Pastry Arts program at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, NJ in 2010, where I trained under Chef Adrienne Longhitano and Chef Jaime Soto, and graduated in 2011. I’ve been working on my craft ever since. In 2013, I competed on and won Season 8 Episode 8 of Cupcake Wars up against non-vegan competitors, which was a huge deal to me as a newbie in the pastry world. I worked in several bakeries in NJ before moving to California in 2013. I’d been working odd jobs to get me on my feet and started taking freelance pastry jobs in my free time. In 2016, I started working at little pine in Silverlake as a prep/line cook and worked my way up to the Head of Pastry in 2017, where I continued to work until the pandemic closed restaurants in March 2020. While working at the restaurant, I formed my LLC, Peaches Bakeshop in 2018. When I wasn’t in the restaurant, I was taking custom orders for cakes and doing popups around LA. Since the start of the pandemic, Peaches Bakeshop has been my full-time gig. It’s an ongoing journey, which I am hoping will lead me to transitioning from my home kitchen to a full-service bakery! My dream has always been to be able to share my vegan creations on a larger scale and to show folks how delicious vegan food can be.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Definitely not. Deciding to open a business by yourself means having to juggle everything from social media to customer service to producing your product, packaging, and cleaning up all on your own. And once you get busy (which is a great thing!), it can pile up and become overwhelming. The biggest struggle has been learning to navigate this all during a pandemic. As I’ve mentioned, Peaches Bakeshop is my full-time gig for the very first time, so to go from the security of a paycheck every week working for someone else to having to rely solely on myself to make sure I’m generating the income I need to keep myself and my family above water is really scary.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a vegan pastry chef specializing in custom cakes. Although I am most known for my cakes, a close second are my vegan croissants! I make everything from cakes to cookies & pies to fine pastries and more. I am incredibly proud of all of the work I put out, and I’m most proud of how far I’ve come in my career over the past decade; it feels like a dream.
I think maybe what sets me apart from others is my perspective on the vegan baking community. I genuinely believe the capitalism has taught us to constantly be hustling and eyeing up “competition,” being the best, making the most money, and hoarding business. I believe that there is space for all of us who want to do this. We are all so different, with different skills and capabilities. We would be so much more powerful and successful if we shared resources and uplifted each other.
How do you think about happiness?
Baking makes me happy because it’s a creative outlet. There is something so magical about seeing the way someone looks at your work, and even more magical is seeing their reaction after they take a bite. I’ll never get sick of that!
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: peachesbakeshop.com
- Instagram: @peachesbakeshop
- Twitter: @peachesbakeshop
The photo I used for my portrait is by Danielle Spires