We had the good fortune of connecting with Brooke Harrell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brooke, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Honestly, I never really thought about starting my own business. Baking was a hobby for me growing up and I loved making things for people to eat and enjoy! I was working at a coffee shop in Colorado Springs as a baker and the owners gave me the creative ability to make up their pastry and breakfast menu. I wanted ultimately to promote their coffee so I made pastries that would complement the drinks they already had. This got me thinking, can I do this for other shops too? Or even, for people? To promote peoples likes, interests, design and taste? So that’s when Just BE’s Pastries began to form! I started my business to provide for other businesses. I wanted to fulfill a need that the coffee shops and vendors had – to make pastries that would promote them and not myself. Just BE’s mission statement is to create special and unique pastries that would just be for that business, vendor or person. Each pastry, cake, bread, muffin and cookie is not alike – because each business or vendor or person is NOT alike.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Have you ever looked at food as art? Well, it is! A lot of people view cooking as more of the art side of culinary where as baking is a science. Where that is true, I also describe baking as my art form! Starting as a hobby for me back in middle school/high school, baking was a creative platform that everyone loved to eat! Took a lot of trial and error – especially at Colorado’s high altitude – but thankfully, nothing was ever wasted! Even time was never wasted because it helped me learn to adjust recipes, change temperatures, use different ingredients and much more! Just BE’s started from my love of baking for others at such a young age. I want to continue to inspire and use the time I have dedicated to my company to love on others by creating something they would enjoy to treat themselves to!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m definitely an outdoor gal so I would go to all of my favorite hiking/ climbing spots – Red Rock Canyon, Garden of the Gods and Ute Valley! Also a coffee person, the local coffee shops in the Springs like Peak Place and Building III Coffee are always a great spot to hit and get a latte or pastry ! Night life in downtown is always fun to hit up for some good food and drinks. I love Shuga’s, Pizzeria Rustica and the local food trucks that set up in the summer time !
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d love to shout out my friend Laurel Burlew! She’s been such an encouragement to me and helped me start my business around the same time she was starting her own !
Riley De Ryk Rachel Jocelyn