Today we’d like to introduce you to Jess Modzelewski.
Hi Jess, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I always knew I wanted to end up in a field where I could create… Initially, I thought I’d become an artist, moving through the motions of a BFA program and then an MFA program at Tufts (working toward the ultimate goal of art professor). I worked with painting, installation work, then screenprinting and pattern-making. Six years of higher ed and 180k of student loans later, I fell completely out of love with the notion of working in academia. The hierarchies, the ass kissing, the pretension were all such a buzzkill. I thankfully found baking as a way to regain some creativity in my life!
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I’m coming up on my one year anniversary of running Awkward Pastry full-time! There have been some challenges no doubt… some weeks I only have a couple of cakes on the books and have a panic attack (How the hell will I make rent AND buy my next case of butter?!), some weeks I’m absolutely slammed with multiple weddings, baby showers, wholesale orders, and recipe development consulting. It can be very much feast or famine if I let it. I’m learning to embrace the quiet weeks as moments to recharge and rest up for the marathon ahead.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m a small bakery offering an eclectic range of seasonal items like babka, apple cider donut cake, passion fruit basque cheesecake, plus of course custom celebration cakes and a variety of very special cookies. But what really sets me apart is that while I have a set menu like anyone else, I love taking on special requests! Clients will come to me asking for their favorite treat, and I’ll do my best to accommodate whatever that may be. A black forest cake? You got it! Gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake? Yum, let’s do the damn thing. An Italian tri-color inspired cookie with matcha and raspberry? Heckin A! You want a fondant covered gender reveal cake? No. Get out of here! LOL But really! I truly believe that not all business should come my way if it doesn’t make my heart sing or I disagree with the execution. And by the way, this is why I’m Awkward Pastry! I have no filter, I come in full force with my personality, and I’m unapologetically Awkward with disarming candor and a weird sense of humor. It’s taken me a long time to accept myself for the way I am, but I’m finally here and so grateful for my clients that love me for me.
- Basque cheesecake – $75
- Cookies, baker’s dozen – $25
- Babka – $25
- Pie – $50
Seasonal Layer Cake- $65
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://awkwardpastry.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/awkwardpastrychef/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/awkwardpastrychef/
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/awkward-pastry-ventura
Photo of Jess holding cake: Emily Elizabeth Photography All others: credit to Jess