When I sat down with Jenny, creator and owner of Pudgy Girl Bakery, one thing was clearly true: she has a passion and love for her craft. Jenny shared about her inspirations, innovations, memories, and love for the community of Rochester. You cannot help but be inspired yourself, listening to her story and love for her opportunity to explore her creativity in the baking scene. You also can’t help but crave the desserts that she creates…peanut butter truffles, chocolate espresso cheesecake, meringues, seasonal fruit pies… Oh! Um, I got carried away…
Jenny grew up learning to bake with her grandmother. The weekends at Jenny’s grandmother’s house were an adventure within itself. They would spend their time exploring the 3 stories of the house and of course, baking. They would make fruit pies, hand pies, cakes, cupcakes, and breads. She recalled the memories of her grandmother’s flower and vegetable gardens, which helped her to learn about the importance of fresh and local ingredients.
Originally, Jenny went to school at RIT and has her degree in photography. During her time at college, Jenny would often bake goods for teachers and friends. After graduating, while her friends moved to bigger cities, such as Miami and NYC, Jenny continued to be drawn to Rochester. She worked at the Owl House as a baker, but soon realized that she wanted to continue to explore and expand in the baking scene. She had a small following of people that loved her desserts and during the transition to opening her own place, she found that they continued to follow her and request desserts. Jenny soon created Pudgy Girl Bakery and the word spread quickly about the amazingly delicious vegan desserts. She has been in business for a little over 2 full years and continues to grow in her following.
Jenny offers a variety of amazingly delicious products, including cheesecakes, pies, truffles, cookies, and layer cakes, all of which can be made gluten free. Jenny is excited when she is able to “veganize” a recipe. She has continued exploring new ways to continue to produce the amazing flavor that many typically know in a non-vegan desserts. She was able to re-produce vegan meringues and as well! One of my favorites has to be the espresso chocolate pie! Mmmm Or is it the truffles… which I am currently eating (a peanut butter truffle and a caramel pretzel truffle, in case you were wondering – Thanks Jenny!).
Jenny loves to be innovative and is interested in putting together flavors that most people do not necessarily think of putting together, such as desserts consisting of both savory and sweet flavors. As Jenny speaks of the complexity of flavors and her ambition for creating new baked goods, she has a huge smile on her face and carefully chooses her words to describe her passion. “Rochester is like a quilt and each of us are like a patch in the quilt. We are all patching together to create a community.” Jenny truly loves living in Rochester and could not imagine herself elsewhere. She continues to be inspired by local ingredients found at farmer’s markets, Rochesterians (that’s most of you!), and the farm to table approach that is growing within Rochester. She was very proud of our Rochester small business promotion as we discussed how people’s pallets are continuing to be opened to new ideas and flavors. “Rochester is becoming a culinary mecca,” Jenny proudly states. “Rochester IS a foodie town. People come to Rochester for food.” That is sure right! How proud are we to be in Rochester!
Looking for Pudgy Girl Bakery goods? How can you not after looking at these mouth-watering pictures?? You can find her products at Abundance Co-Op, Lori’s Natural Foods, Balsam Bagels, and Nathaniel’s Square Corner Store (which she also recommends if you are a beer lover). You can also contact her and pick-up right at her location off of East Ave. She also opens up her space for wedding tastings throughout the entire year! Jenny was also contacted for 6 year old birthday party with the theme of “Cupcake Wars.” Focusing on the competition of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, she created two large cupcakes, which the girls decorated from top to bottom. They even had their own family judging panel! Each child went home with their own Pudgy Girl style cupcake at the end. Oh what a dream.
Head on over to Pudgy Girl Bakery and get yourself some holiday treats for your friends, co-workers, family…and yes, yourself, because you deserve it. You have had a long, hard working year, and deserve a few truffles, a pie, and a cookie. While you are at it, grab a little extra for the new year!
630 East Ave
*Tip: Look for the Pudgy Girl Bakery sign that she often has on the corner