My name is Jeney and I am the Owner and Head Baker here at Peney Cakes! (Let's be real, though. I'm the only employee here at Peney Cakes.) I have been contractually joined together by the state of Wisconsin to the most amazing partner and Sprinkle Master, Brian, for eight completely bonkers revolutions around the sun. We have two children; Juno, an 12-ish-year-old Siberian Husky (Official Floor Cleaner) and Oliver, a 3-year-old human (Taste Tester Extraordinaire). But enough about me. Why don't I tell you a little bit more about how this little bakery was started?
I think I should start at the beginning… I graduated in 2008 right amidst the Recession. I had big plans to take my degree back to Chicago where I grew up and establish myself as the next big journalist of my generation. But, in reality, I had to take whatever job I could get my hands on. After all, those student loan bills would be showing up in my mailbox sooner rather than later.
Fast forward ten years and I had come and go from eight different jobs, fallen in love, moved to and from three different states (none of them Illinois), purchased two houses, and now held the tiniest thing I never knew I could love in my arms. Looking in to that squishy little face, I knew he deserved more than a mom who was miserable the majority of her waking hours at work. I deserved better.
You see, un the cold Minnesota winter of 2018, I found myself at the end of maternity leave with terrible anxiety about returning to my soul-sucking desk job. It wasn’t that I wanted to be stay-at-home mom; on the contrary, I wanted to return to work. But returning to my job? Returning to the insurance sales position which brought be absolutely no joy, mountains of anxiety, all harbored in an incredibly toxic workplace? Nope. I was not looking forward to it.
I had dreamed of owning my own bakery since my second “big girl” job. I had moved 600 miles away from my family and friends to Fargo, North Dakota and found solace in baking. My mother taught me how to bake when I was young, and it helped me feel centered in my new normal. Then, suddenly in 2014, my mother died of a heart attack. Her lessons have stayed with me and many of the recipes I use are written in her own handwriting on old fashioned recipe cards.
So, during those frigid, dark weeks of my maternity leave I made a decision. I decided to face my fears, get the licensing needed, and officially open Peney Cakes from my very own kitchen. Baking the recipes that have been handed down to me from my family and friends, I find incredible joy in creating gourmet cupcakes, cheesecakes, and desserts for my clients. Seeing those smiles spread on their faces when they pick up their orders is – hands down – so much more satisfying than adjusting the coverage limits on auto policies.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for stopping by and getting to know me. I hope someday I have the honor of getting to know you, too! If you bring the cold brew, I’ll bring the cupcakes.