Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenna Seright.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Growing up, I baked pies every holiday with my grandma leading and teaching me, making it a family tradition growing up. I started getting involved in the differently-abled community during my sophomore year of high school and began to serve locally, as well as at a camp in Missouri for individuals who are differently-abled. My third year going to the camp, in 2016, I decided to put it out in a local Facebook group that I was selling apple and pumpkin pies for the 4th of July to earn my way to camp. This was my first ever pie sale and I had 42 orders come through that weekend which I had to bake in my two-pie oven, which meant that I worked for 24 hours, possibly more to fill the orders. Following this sale, a local business owner reached out to offer their kitchen, ovens, marketing team, vendors, and so much more for me to start what is now known as Jenna’s Pies. Erik Intermill of Craft Hill Restaurant pushed me to limits I would have never known where possible if he hadn’t reached out via Facebook during the summer of 2016.
Our partnership with Craft Hill led me to begin Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter pie sales along with the 4th of July pie sale. I then held a Children’s Charity Concert where I sold tickets for a show by a local band, dinner provided by the restaurant, dessert provided by my team and me, and a musical performance by Mason Fessenden. When Craft Hill closed their doors in Monrovia, Chef Alexandar Reyes, owner of Saute Culinary Academy, allowing me to bake in his kitchen when his classes are not in session. This has allowed me to hold four pie sales a year to continue my ministry. Since the beginning of my business, I have branched out to more than just pies and have provided an assortment of desserts for numerous events including bridal showers, weddings, baby showers, and senior recitals.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No, it has most definitely not been a smooth road. My business has continued to grow with each pie sale larger than the last. We started as a team of 4 and I now have over 20 volunteers that come and help us. We currently bake more than 100 pies per holiday which have meant long days in the kitchen with seemingly never-ending orders coming through. It has meant learning how to order in quantity, how to properly delegate work to my team members and learning how to make massive batches of dough by hand instead of just double batches. Another big challenge has been finding space to bake when our usual kitchen is occupied. One day I hope to have a kitchen of my own so I can continue to expand. Although these struggles have been present, it is just a part of the journey and it is all worth it in the end. It is such a great feeling to have so many people in the community of Monrovia support our cause by buying pies and desserts but also my team that comes and donates their time. We truly believe in what we are doing and know that we are making a difference in our community.
Jenna’s Pies – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I run Jenna’s Pies, a local charity pie business that was started in 2016. Our most popular type of pie is apple, a classic. We also prepare desserts for events that include cookies, cakes, candy, and of course pie! This business is different from others because all the proceeds go towards inclusion efforts in the Monrovia area, as well as aiding missionaries to travel to a camp in Missouri to serve for a week. Some of the inclusion efforts we work on our job training while baking pies for the holidays, hiring individuals who are differently-abled to work alongside our volunteers to learn job skills in the kitchen. Another inclusion effort we provide are inclusion parties for holidays throughout the school year for students who are differently-abled and mainstreamed students to come together for lunch and various activities that are now led by my brother, Gregory Seright. We also provide scholarships for graduating seniors who are differently-abled as well as individuals proactively creating a sense of inclusion on campus for all.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I define success as the accomplishment of inclusion in the community of Monrovia and beyond. The goal of my pie business is to show the capability of those who are differently-abled and if that occurs in businesses throughout the Monrovia community, I would say that I have been successful in my goal.
- $16 per pie
- Website: jennaspies.com
- Phone: (626)802-8704
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jennaspiesales/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennaspiesales/
Linette Seright, Craft Hill, Victory Coffman & Exuberance Photography
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