Justice of the Pies
Justice of the Pies is a bakery specializing in sweet and savory pies, quiches and tarts. I created the company in 2014 in memory of my late-father, Steve Broussard. My Dad was a criminal defense attorney with a hobby for baking and eating pies. Justice of the Pies was created to celebrate his love of pies and to honor his belief that people deserve second chances. Thus, Justice of the Pies was formed as an L3C and our goal is to positively impact the lives of others.
Tell us briefly about your entrepreneurial journey.
I previously owned an art gallery with a bar in the South Loop of Chicago (Three Peas Art Lounge). The gallery was immensely successful but suffered a flooding incident on Christmas Day of 2011 that forced us to close. Shortly after closing the gallery, I delved into creating Justice of the Pies. This venture began with a Kickstarter campaign that was curated by Accion (a non-profit that provides micro-loans for small businesses). After a successful Kickstarter campaign, I began selling pies at various markets and fairs such as the Daley Plaza Farmers Market, 57th Street Art Fair and the Renegade Craft Fair. I also began to build my list of wholesale clients and collaborative partnerships.
What resources have you tapped into to grow your business?
In 2016, I became a fellow of FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Accelerator. The 6-month intensive was an amazing resource for successfully growing a food brand with a focus on local sustainability. Currently, I am a fellow of Accion’s Neighborhood Entrepreneurship Lab which has been an amazing resource of mentors and learning from industry vets.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs in Chicago?
My singular advice is to play everything close to the vest. Move quietly and don’t make announcements until your plans are complete and nearly launched. The idea isn’t to be secretive per se, but to allow yourself, as an entrepreneur, the space to move more confidently without needing to make additional announcements to accompany your original announcement. For example, you may announce, “We’re going to open a location in spring of 2020!” to your loyal customers, but delayed construction permits, ever changing architectural plans, and cash flow issues could push that location opening to winter of 2020 instead of spring 2020. Just let people know what you’re doing once it’s nearly done.
What tools do you use to grow your business?
The most effective means for growing my business have been the relationships and mentorships I’ve attained through fellowships and introductions/connections made on my behalf. Creating a network of peers is essential to my business. My fellow bakers in the Chicagoland area (specifically those whom are bakers of color and/or whom are women) have been such an immense support with regards to sharing resources and leads. Most of us are food entrepreneurs who specialize in a specific type of delicacy. Therefore, there’s no competition between us- just pure support and mutual respect. Anytime we need a referral for equipment purchases, posting employment positions, or even needing to get background information about working with a particular vendor, we often will shoot each other a quick email. It is from that place of collective sharing that allows each of us to thrive individually.
To learn more about Justice of the Pies please find them on Instagram to see their beautiful pies and see their growth story or visit their website at:
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