Today we’d like to introduce you to Elana Berusch.
Elana, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve been excited about food and feeding people for as long as I can remember, and I’ve spent most of my life working to find ways to express that enthusiasm. I started working in restaurant kitchens and small bakeries in high school, and while I loved working with food, I found myself asking questions that couldn’t be answered in kitchens. Questions like, “How does the browning on the surface of a steak work?” or “Why do cookies turn out chewier when the dough has been chilled?”
To find some answers, I pursued a degree in Food Science at Ohio State and one in Bakery Science at the American Institute of Baking. These programs fascinated me, and I was thrilled to develop the skills that allow me to build recipes from scratch, understand any ingredient statement, and troubleshoot issues that arise in my kitchen. To accompany my formal education, I’ve also worked and interned at a whole range of fascinating food companies, including an ice cream producer, a baby food manufacturer, and a French patisserie!
I currently work full time as a product developer for a large food company but invest most of my free time in my side project, Three Seeds. Three Seeds is a blend of all my favorite aspects of food: part bakery, part product developer, part consultant. Through this business, I am lucky enough to work with food every day in incredibly meaningful ways!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
While no road is totally smooth, I’ve been so excited to be traveling down this path and find out what’s ahead that the bumps along the way don’t feel so big. I was one of those bizarre college freshmen who knew exactly what they wanted to study, and I’ve been pretty committed to that approach ever since. I love what I do, and there’s so much to be excited about in the world of food. While I only run Three Seeds on the side (for now), I feel so fortunate to have an outlet where I can share my skills and passion with my community!
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Three Seeds Bakery & Pastry Consulting – what should we know?
As I mentioned earlier, Three Seeds is made up of three parts. The first part is a bakery, where I create custom cakes and other desserts for customers around Denver. Most of my customers give me a lot of freedom when it comes to choosing the flavors, decoration, and style of their desserts, which means that I have so much fun with every order! In addition to custom baking, I also sell pastries at local farmers’ markets. Selling baked goods in this way is awesome because it gives me a change to interface directly with so many other people who are enthusiastic about food and community.
The second part of Three Seeds is the consulting arm. Because I study food science, I have a skill set that lets me improve recipes by reducing cost, reducing food waste, and improving efficiency. I offer these services to restaurants and other local food businesses through Three Seeds, which lets me work on a wide range of projects and meet wonderful people in the industry!
The third piece of Three Seeds is product development, primarily in the dessert arena. Many restaurants don’t have pastry chefs on staff due to cost and kitchen space, but still feel obligated to put dessert on their menus. I have found that this gap means that restaurants often serve desserts that pale in comparison to the rest of their savory dishes, leaving customers disappointed by the last course of their meal. To fill this gap, I offer my services as a pastry consultant, developing dessert menus that fit the style and needs of each individual restaurant. In this way, I can also accommodate restaurants’ space restrictions, use equipment they already own, and help them reduce food waste by using ingredients they’d otherwise throw away.
I’m very proud of all three segments of Three Seeds but am especially excited about the product development portion. Creating new recipes that are delicious, cost-effective, and efficient as possible is like putting together a puzzle – and I love puzzles. I feel that I have a lot to offer Denver’s restaurants, and increasing the number of fantastic desserts in this city can only be a good thing!
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I’ve only been living in Denver for two years, but have found a group of amazingly supportive friends who constantly cheer me on, help me network, and give advice. Some of these friends own small businesses of their own, and we work together to lift each other up.
One of these businesses is Rebel Bread, a bakery and bread school run by Zach Martinucci. I met Zach at one of Rebel’s classes, and he’s become such a great friend and supporter! Despite the fact that we’re both carving out space in Denver’s baking scene, Zach has always been constructive rather than competitive – introducing me to other local food businesses, hiring me to teach pastry classes at Rebel Bread, and promoting my work.
My partner and friends have also been so helpful in getting Three Seeds off the ground, doing everything from critiquing logo design to taste testing any dessert I threw at them. They help out at farmers’ markets, talk my work up to their friends and colleagues, and give me honest feedback – and I couldn’t be more grateful!
- Website: https://esberusch.wixsite.com/mysite
- Phone: 216-212-4055
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @lanibakes
Brittni Bell Warshaw/Elana Berusch