- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
March 28, 2019
This paid piece is sponsored by JJ’s Wine, Spirits & Cigars.
From experimenting in the kitchen to leading a growing boozy bake shop, Jean Slattery and her team of talented bakers have become experts in delivering delicious treats made with some of your favorite adult beverages.
As the owner of The Boozy Bakery inside JJ’s Wine, Spirits & Cigars at 3000 W. 57th St., she’s constantly working on new creations.
We stepped inside the kitchen for a look at what makes these treats unlike any in town.
How long have been in the “boozy baking” business?
The short answer is almost 20 years. But even before that, in college and early on in my early working years, I was the one who brought treats for everyone – from cookies and bars to cupcakes and muffins. In 1999, my sister Maggie and I started Classic Chef – a gourmet food store and catering business, where we offered numerous handmade items, including boozy and non-boozy desserts as well as full catering services – however back then it was more holiday rum cakes and bourbon balls that made up the boozy treats.
In 2006, I stepped away from cooking and baking for a few years to focus on my kids and to teach yoga. In my free time I started experimenting in my own kitchen at home with dessert recipes using the different adult beverages Tom would bring home. I especially enjoyed working with some of the amazing beers coming from WoodGrain Brewing Co. We would use the customers at JJ’s 2.0 for research and feedback on the different baked good. It seemed like there was definitely a market to tap for boozy baked goods. This led to conversations about the possibility of adding The Boozy Bakery at JJ’s 3.0.
How has your bakery selection been changing since JJ’s opened the expanded store?
Before we opened, my bakery manager, Kate, and I sifted through years of collected recipes and some online resources to craft our initial recipe database. We started with a really good selection of recipes, but the customer feedback definitely shaped where we went from day one. When we started, we offered more cupcake selections, but that quickly moved into brownies, cheesecakes and some pretty unique tarts. We never wanted the majority of our business to be cupcakes because there are so many options for cupcakes already in Sioux Falls. We wanted to branch out and create more specialty desserts. There is such vast creative potential for infusing baked goods with alcohol – we didn’t want to limit ourselves. When we started doing little specialty cakes, roll cakes and booze-infused collaborations, the bakery really took off.
What are some of the customer favorites?
I would say our stout mini cakes, layer cakes and some of the beautiful tarts and trifles that Kate puts together would be the top sellers. Apparently, anything with Bailey’s Salted Caramel is a hit. We sell more Bailey’s Caramel Brownies than anything else in the case.
We have also carved out a niche in creating some specialty gluten-free options for our customers. I’ve never been a fan of basic gluten-free dessert recipes. My process is to take a fantastic tried-and-true recipe and then replace the ingredients with high-quality gluten-free ones. If you know the recipe tastes good to begin with, it makes it so much easier to make it just as delicious for our gluten-free customers!
What do you suggest people try when they want to branch out a bit?
Trifles! Sometimes people just aren’t sure about trifles, but trifles are just layered desserts with cake and mousse, maybe a silky pastry cream and our homemade salted caramel or chocolate ganache. Our Tiramisu Trifle, which is non-boozy, is very popular, but we also do some stout collaboration ones, as well as bourbon-laced options. I would also highly recommend trying our Bourbon Orange Curd Tart when we add it back to the mix this spring!
Tell us about some of your unique collaborations.
As most of your readers already know, we at JJ’s like to work with other local businesses to create unique offerings. Tom travels to Kentucky two to three times per year to hand-select single-barrel bourbons with the intention of creating additional products from the barrel once it arrives. I know I keep gushing about WoodGrain, but Tom has done a number of collaborations with WoodGrain and his bourbon barrels. We then take those brewed collaborations and create delicious desserts such as the stout mini cakes and cupcakes. We’ve even dabbled with Gin and Tonic Cupcakes made with gin from Tattersall Distilling aged in one of our Knob Creek bourbon barrels. We also use a bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup from Somerskogen Sugarbush, which was aged in one of our Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels.
What’s unique about having the bake shop in an adult beverage store?
Flexibility – period. We have multiple licenses, the facilities and the know-how to take our creativity to another level by having a multitude of adult-beverage options at our disposal and to be able to use as much alcohol as we see fit in our various recipes. We also have the ability to package it and send it out the door and even deliver it to you if necessary. We’re the only ones in Sioux Falls that offer it in a retail storefront because of the unique nature of combining the bakery, the bar, the retail store and events.
So if you see a name like Fireball or Bailey’s or WoodGrain beer in the name of one of our treats, it has a significant amount of that adult beverage within the product. You’re going to taste it. They’re brushed and baked and filled and frosted with variations of whatever booze is being highlighted.
So, for real, you could deliver boozy baked treats?
We can, and we do. The law changed last year and allowed us to do it.
Do you take special orders?
We do. We require a minimum of four days’ advanced notice for smaller orders. For larger orders, we like to have at least a week’s notice so we can fit it into our regular production schedule. This affords us the ability to work with clients both on and off site and cater to their specific needs while providing us with the necessary downtime to recharge our creative batteries.
How can people learn more or reach you?
Our menu and the descriptions will be up on the new website shortly. Check out our website here or go directly to our page and my upcoming blog here. We also have a Facebook page here. The menu is always evolving, and it will again to reflect the seasons, holidays and our collaborations. Our blog will be on our website to give you an inside look at our life in the boozy business. And you can always call us at 605-357-9597.
From experimenting in the kitchen to leading a growing boozy bake shop, Jean Slattery and her team at The Boozy Bakery have become experts in delivering delicious treats made with some of your favorite adult beverages.