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This French Bakery is Broadening Culinary Horizons in Bed-Stuy

Jatee Kearsley, owner and pastry chef at Je T’aime Pâtisserie, is redefining what it means to have a sweet tooth.

Jatee Kearsley, owner and pastry chef at Je T’aime Pâtisserie, is redefining what it means to have a sweet tooth.

Snuggled away in a storefront located at 471 Marcus Garvey Blvd. in Bedford Stuyvesant, Je T’aime Patisserie has gained prominence for bringing uniquely-crafted, high-end French pastries to a minority neighborhood.

Je T’aime opened its doors in 2023. The bakery recently went viral on social media because of Kearsley’s passion to serve overlooked and misrepresented communities. In the video, she recalled many students walking into her bakery and not knowing what many of the dessert items were. 

In the beginning, she said she didn't have many customers due to the unfamiliarity of her products. But she continued to introduce new pastry staples —by offering samples and allowing customers to use their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to pay for their desserts.

In Bed-Stuy alone, about 22,000 families receive SNAP benefits. Knowing this, Kearsley hoped to reach as many people as possible. 

“So many people were telling me to go to other neighborhoods because my style that I was going for wouldn't fit in this neighborhood,” Kearsley told BK Reader. “And I was like, if we continue to think like that, we will never have these types of establishments in our neighborhood."

Kearsley said she taught herself how to cook through “YouTube University,” and started baking for family and friends for fun, not thinking it would turn into a career. 

After seeing the potential in baking, she enrolled in culinary school and took a class that required her to bake French pastries. At first she struggled to make the classic macarons, but with much persistence, she found herself falling in love with the French baking. 

je-taime-patisserieEvery time you walk into Je T’aime, you will likley be introduced to something new, Kearsley said. Some common desserts are variations of flavored croissants, creme brulee or a fruit tart, priced between $5 and $8. 

“I knew my mission was to literally just change the mindset or the food palate of our people because we're so used to just eating what they give us,” explained Kearsley, who is Black. 

Now, lines wrap outside of her door with patrons waiting for a taste of her desserts. In fact, most days she ends up selling out of her delicious treats before closing.  

Since the influx of new customers, she has become a neighborhood staple. 

Je T'aime is also the newest vendor at Prospect Park’s Smorgasburg, an annual food festival that takes place on Sundays from 11am to 6pm.  

Kearsley said now the Bed-Stuy community is helping her business expand. Many people have come to the bakery and volunteered to help run the shop as more and more people find out about it.

“They have been loving on me so good and it's just been overwhelmingly beautiful,” Kearsley said. 


Brianna Robles

About the Author: Brianna Robles

Brianna Robles is a Brooklyn, NY based freelance writer and journalist specializing in sharing stories about mental health and spectacular women.
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