This is a very special edition of The Buttery Blog, and I am so excited to introduce Just Baked Brooklyn to everyone!
I recently met up with Heather Lattuca Ferrari, the owner of Just Baked Brooklyn, at a cafe in the West Village. I asked her if she would talk about her new business, which is a year in the making, but just a few months in full swing! She happily accepted my offer, and brought some delicious samples with her. Over a lunch of savory crepes, we dished about food, life, and dogs.
Heather bakes up sweet treats for people and pooches. The company’s motto is “Life is Sweet. Give a dog a treat.” …and why not give yourself a treat as well! She already has two business clients that have weekly orders.
What inspired you to create people and dog treats?
I have always loved making cookies for friends and family. When I moved to New York, people would hire me once in awhile to make a cheesecake or a bread or cookies. I grew up in a restaurant family. One of my parents’ first businesses was Just Baked, which was a seasonal (summer) pastry shop in Watch Hill, RI. When I married my husband, a trained chef, I knew the journey would continue.
Our inspiration for The Odie Collection (our dog treats) is our dog Odie. We adopted him in November 2008 and fell in love! He is my first dog and I never knew how much I could love an animal. He is not always interested in food so I try and make treats that he likes. Making dog treats is so much fun!
Did you have to do any special research to create the dog treats?
Yes! Dogs are highly allergic to some very common baking ingredients, like chocolate. I researched what types of foods are good for dogs (pumpkin, oats, apples, turkey, beef) as well as the flavors they generally love (peanut butter, cheese, bacon). I was important to me to have a good combination of both. Many dogs are allergic to gluten, so we have gluten free treats as well.
What is the favorite cookie on your menu?
The Chocolate Toffee Sea Salt cookie!
(PS. Buttery B agrees. That cookie rocks!)
What is your favorite bakery?
My all time favorite bakery was Just Baked. I love Henion Bakery in Amherst, MA. In New York, I would have to say Amy’s Bread.
How long had you been thinking about creating your own business until you finally took action?
A couple of years. I moved to New York almost 8 years ago to pursue my acting/singing career. Before I started seriously thinking about Just Baked Brooklyn, I wanted to see if there was a way to do both. I am starting off at a slower pace with Just Baked Brooklyn so I can learn to truly balance both my acting career and baking business.
Do you have a mentor or role model?
Many- my mom and dad, my husband, Julia Child, Cesar Millan.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting their own catering or baking business?
The food business requires a lot of time and hard work, so you need to love it! You need to enjoy making people happy. Keep it simple and delicious.
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♦ Buttery B