The Joy is your weekly must-read, a chance to meet cool people and find a reason to smile about the week that's been.
Jean Cleary is the owner of 'Bakes By Jean' - a bespoke boutique bakery & patisserie.
Tell us about your business, and why you love what you do?
I feel very humbled when I am asked to create a cake for someone’s special occasion - be it a wedding, birthday, baby shower or anniversary cake. Some people know exactly what they want, but I would say for the design of 90% of the cakes I get told the colour or the style of cake they are looking for (romantic, artistic, rustic, etc) and the rest is left up to me. A lot of my customers are referrals or repeat customers. It’s lovely to be asked to make a couple’s engagement, wedding, baby shower and 1st birthday cakes. I feel like part of the family!
What’s new in your life?
Things came to a major halt during 2020 with cakes, weddings and events being cancelled. I now have a full time job as a Pastry Chef and Sous Chef at an event space in the city which keeps me busy. I feel really blessed to be able to fit in both my full time job, and my love for creating cakes, with Bakes by Jean in my life.
What are you watching at the moment?
SEAL Team. I loved Bones so that’s why I started watching 'SEAL Team' and now I’m obsessed! And Blue Bloods - I want to have a seat at the Sunday dinner table! Ooh and 'Line of Duty’! I love Adrian Dunbar who plays Hastings. His one liners are excellent!
What are you reading at the moment?
I just purchased The Rosie Project by Australian author Graeme Simsion. I need something lighthearted to distract me! I actually painted a ‘Paint by Numbers’ which I really loved. I have another one arriving in the post any day now. It’s so relaxing.
Who has recently inspired you on social media?
I try not to dwell on social media because I become obsessed - but I recently discovered A Loopy Whisk on Instagram, she has great recipes for Coeliacs like me. I know! A pastry chef who can’t even eat her own creations. She has some healthy recipes for sugar addicts too.
What do you drink when you're not drinking?
I actually don’t drink any alcohol at all! I had my first drink when I was 30 years old - and absolutely hated it! It burned my throat! So, my go-to drink all day, every day is sparkling water, and if I’m feeling adventurous I might even put a squeeze of lime into it! I do love a Virgin Mojito too, as well as 'Liquorice Legs’ by T2 which is a beautiful tea.
What is your go to snack / food that brings you joy?
I love homemade spiced nuts, or peanut butter & jam on a corn cracker, and a good antipasto platter when I’m out with friends.
What has brought you joy this week?
When my niece, Angie, in Ireland, sent me a ‘Thank You’ message, because she received a “just because” gift from me in the post. It’s nice to receive something unexpected.
To see more of Jean's delightful delicacies, head to:
Or check out her Instagram:
Recipe of the week ✍️
Clovendoe Apple Margarita
60ml Cloudy Apple Juice
60ml Clovendoe Stem
30ml Lime Juice
Method: Shake all ingredients together with ice and strain into a coupe (martini) glass. To get fancy, rim the glass with pink salt before you mix your drink. Garnish with lime - and voila. A tropical getaway in a glass.
Joy Story 📖
Maybe nobody else understands, maybe they call you “crazy,” maybe they hold onto many of the old superstitions that still persist about the animal, but when you look into the eyes of your cat, you understand; you understand completely.