Janie’s life-changing baked goods, a bakery located in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, saved Janie deegan from a life of addiction, homelessness, and despair.
The native New Yorker who discovered baking was the key to her self-esteem, self love, and confidence has now set out on a mission to help others through her bustling cookie shop, which has an “open-door hiring” policy.
Deegan stated that “you just have to walk through a door and be willing, able, and excited to work and you’ve got the job.”
After struggling to find work after being in “such darkness” for so long, she created the policy.
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Deegan was trying to take back control of her life in 2013. Deegan was determined not to get sober, but was having difficulty reuniting her with people. She explained that even looking into someone’s eyes was difficult.
Deegan stated, “I was kind of a shell of someone and just didn’t really have many life skills, self confidence or self love.” “But I knew that if I wanted to stay sober, I had to sort of … build all of those qualities.”
As a child, baking was a joy that brought Deegan joy. One day while working as a superintendent in the Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood, Deegan said she picked up a handheld mixer “and just started baking.”
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“It was like meditative, and my life was just so out of control, but baking is such a controlled thing, where if you … take the right steps and follow the directions, you’ll get a pretty exact result,” she said.
Deegan began to bring her homemade baked goods to people’s houses, which helped her reconnect.
She said, “Feeding people is such an universal love language.”
She was trying to figure out how she could find a career at the age of 27.
She said that she was depressed about the prospect to be 27 and find a job in New York. “I had no real work experience … and I can’t put ‘getting sober’ on my résumé.”
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Just before Thanksgiving 2015, Deegan’s entire life was changed.
“Inspired by friends’ encouragement, she set herself a goal to only sell 1 pie. She sold dozens! Deegan’s website states.
She started baking pies and custom cakes from her tiny New York City apartment. She eventually launched an official company in 2017.
She spent three to 4 years perfecting her pie crust cookie recipe. It has since become her bread and butter.
She stated that people have been walking, running and lining up in front of the little door to get cookies. “It’s been so magical to see that,” she said. “And then, I was able increase my staff.”
And when she needs more help, Deegan says she looks for anyone who is just excited to work — even if they don’t have experience in the industry or know how to bake.
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After her own struggles, she realized that having a certain skill set was more important than the desire to work.
She said that she was a great worker because she wanted it so badly. “As soon as I got sober, I was like the best worker that you could find … but again, you can’t put that on a resume. You can’t say, “I’m so happy to be here,”
She hopes to one day be a second-chance worker, hiring women from prisons or shelters.
“As long as you’re excited to be here, and a lot of my employees … I think like out of 14 of us, one of us has been to culinary school,” she said.
Still, Deegan is astounded at what she has created so far with her “quirky” shop and employees.
It’s crazy right now, it’s 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.
Source: Fox News