The Full Story
Janie’s Life-Changing Baked Goods was founded in 2015 after Janie spent years struggling with addiction and homelessness in her early 20’s. Janie’s (formally Janie Bakes) was born out of an act of self-care, baking, as Janie was reconstructing her life and trying to stay sober. She had years of gaps in her resume, not a whole lot of work experience and no idea of what sort of career she wanted.
While working as a building superintendent in the East Village Janie began to bake again, something that had always brought her joy as a child. On a whim one day, she spent $35 dollars on a cheap handheld mixer, which seemed like a huge splurge at the time. With this mixer, she found joy in baking treats for friends, and quickly people were requesting baked goods for events.
At a time when Janie had no self-love, seeing the looks on people’s faces when they devoured her treats slowly filled her with pride that she had never before felt. Before Thanksgiving 2015, fueled by the encouragement of friends she challenged herself to see if she could sell just 1 pie. She sold dozens! With those pies, Janie’s was officially born and quickly proved that it was small but strong and that just like her, it wouldn’t give up. Janie says “I never intended to be a small business owner, had no idea what being an entrepreneur meant but this path chose me and it's the most amazing ride”.
Janie is most known for being the inventor of the Pie Crust Cookie; dubbed “The Next Cronut” by top food industry experts and one of the top 20 cookies in NYC according to NPR’s Gothamist! She has been the recipient of Pepsi’s “Stacy’s Rise Project” grant and scholarship to the International Culinary Center’s Culinary Entrepreneurship Program and was a finalist on the 2018 Culinary Voice Scholarship Contest (covered by ABC’s The Chew in a 5 episode mini-series!). Currently, she is working on disrupting the cookie industry by launching her Pecan Pie Crust Cookies in grocery stores (she has some really exciting ones lined up and eagerly waiting to stock them!)
Janie goes above and beyond in giving back to her community - providing second chance employment, teaching baking classes to underprivileged youth in East Harlem, and donating time and cookies to local community centers and homeless shelters.