Manhattan, NY

Pies changed New York baker’s life, now she helps others: “Magical to see them walk to my little door”

Amy Christie

Janie Deegan was homeless in her 20s, and she didn’t think she had any hope for a bright future.

Once she decided to take the first step and to stay sober, a major difficulty showed up. She had trouble connecting to people. And that’s where baking came in.

What are the details?

"I was a shell of a person when I got sober and couldn't even look people in the eye. I had no life skills and no resume. I felt so insecure,” Deegan shared with Gothamist.

While she was pondering how to get her life together again, she suddenly came up with an idea. She had always liked baking in her childhood, and since it brought her so much joy, she thought it would be logical to try it again.

So, she got a mixer from a local store and “just started baking.”

"My life was out of control, but baking is so controlled... it was this nice meditative act of self-care. Plus, it's a super people-pleasing thing, bringing baked goods to different people and seeing their whole demeanor change. It just started to fill me with self-esteem, and enabled me to reconnect with people,” she recalled, according to Sunnyskyz.

Before Thanksgiving that year, she was encouraged by friends as she kept on baking, and then she set a challenge for herself. She wanted to see if she could sell one pie.

What happened next?

She didn’t just manage to sell one pie; she sold her pies to dozens of people who loved the taste! And with that first sale, Janie's officially started as a business.

Deegan kicked off her baking business as she made the pies and cakes in her New York apartment and eventually launched it two years later.

"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," Deegan said.

She is still amazed even today by the wonderful turn of events that helped her get so far with her “quirky” Manhattan pie shop.

"People have been walking, running, lining up outside that little door to get cookies, and it's just been so magical seeing that. It's crazy right now, the holiday season. And I'm scooping cookies with them, and we're all singing to '80s music … I look around, and I'm like, 'Oh, my God, I created this,'" she said for Fox News.

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX
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