Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley St. Aubin.
Hi Ashley, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I grew up watching my mom and grandmother cook and became skilled at it myself at around age 8. I got more into the baking and sweet side during high school and would take cookies and treat bags to friends and co-workers. I loved watching people enjoy what I had baked for them, and I wanted to experience that feeling more and more.
After years of working in the front of the house in restaurants, I found an amazing chef who gave me a chance to work in his kitchen. I was immediately hooked and I began absorbing as much knowledge as I could. I continued bringing sweets and homemade desserts in for my co-workers and taking them to family get-togethers and slowly honed my skill for baking.
With a lot of encouragement from those I’d baked for, I started the concept for Pinup Desserts in 2014, and eventually got my LLC in 2018 and opened as a home bakery. After the shutdown in March 2020, I left my job and continue solely in my home bakery.
I offer a full menu of baked goods, some savory, most sweet, and specialize in customizing all types of flavors and desserts just perfect for the client in mind. I love taking my off-the-wall ideas and making delicious new flavor combinations and new spins on old classics.
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?
The road has not always been smooth, but as time went on and I learned more and more, things definitely got easier. For example, when I first started I would take any job I could get even if it wasn’t something I was really into creatively.
A lot of the time I found when doing that job I had so many more difficulties and unexpected bumps in the road, it just ended up being not worth it. Alternatively, when I offered my own flavor creations and new and interesting desserts, people couldn’t get enough.
I was doing what I loved, and that really showed through and ended up making people happier.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I own an at-home bakery and specialize in creating custom desserts specifically for the client and mind. When it comes time for a special celebration, I always found myself to be very picky and want something that wasn’t a standard dessert or flavor.
I thought I must not be the only one that felt this way and started coming up with desserts that I would want to try on my special day. One year, for example, my husband requested three things to be incorporated into his birthday cake: Beer, Bacon, and Bourbon. This fun challenge led us to create one of the most indulgent and delicious cakes on my menu which is ordered frequently.
The cake, in case you’re wondering, is a Stout beer (often an Imperial) infused chocolate cake layered with homemade ganache and iced with a bourbon vanilla buttercream, and topped with chopped bacon. It is simply delightful, and you can’t find it anywhere else except at Pinup Desserts!
Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
I took my biggest risk yet after the pandemic hit by leaving my full-time job and focusing solely on Pinup Desserts. As an at-home bakery, there are a lot of restrictions in place on what I can and cannot make for a client, even if I have the ability to make their request.
It can be a struggle sometimes to find new clients, and it hasn’t been the easiest to keep up with everything the pandemic has thrown at small business owners. I find in all of this though, that taking the risk to follow my desires has been more rewarding to me personally than the old “hustle” of my previous job.
The risk seems more worth taking when it also means making you happier
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- Website: www.pinupdesserts.net
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