We had the good fortune of connecting with Julie Pauly and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Julie, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I am naturally risk averse, so being an “entrepreneur” was never an appealing proposition.. When you’re worried about risk, you make fewer decisions from your gut, and rely more on facts staring you in the face. I made a series of small steps instead of big ones. Growth felt like a foregone conclusion instead of a launch into the abyss.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
(Golly. This is a broad one.) I’m very proud of the brand we’ve created. For many of our customers, we are part of their community, a third place where they gather, connect, and support us and each other. We make cakes, cookies, pies and other classic American baked goods, all from scratch. We pull a great shot of espresso. We sell a happy product, arguably not a necessary one (caffeine may be in question here). It’s not revolutionary, but we’re very good at what we do, and people seem to like us. That’s pretty great.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Any visit to Maplewood would start with a stop at the bakery for scones and coffee, a quick tour of the kitchen, and some local chit-chat with regulars . A day hike in the South Mountain Reservation, just up the hill from town, with a picnic lunch from Baker Street Market.. Downtown Maplewood Village for a day of shopping, delightfully unlike hitting the local mall. Pick up a book at Words bookstore, peek into Perch Home and No. 165 for gifts, have lunch at Arturo’s, and walk up Baker Street (City Workshop for the men, Meus for the women, Toy Division for the kids) . Scope out vintage at Maplewood Mercantile. A visit to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty is a snap. New York City is a 30-minute train ride. I love to frequent local bakeries and coffee shops everywhere I go, including in my backyard (my “competition”, as it were, are delightful):. We should start with Palmer’s for Sunday donuts and The Bread Stand for croissants.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
While reading bedtime stories to our then four-year-old son Declan, he announced that if the small mouse in Busytown was named Able Baker Charlie, then that must make me Able Baker Julie. My husband Thomas got online and bought the domain name, long before I had the faintest idea that I would launch a business . I have Richard Scarry to thank for the books, Declan for the spark of imagination, and Thomas for supporting me every day since.

Website: theablebaker.com

Instagram: @theablebaker

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheAbleBaker/

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-able-baker-maplewood

Other: Link to our New York Times review https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/17/nyregion/at-the-able-baker-sugar-butter-and-a-little-nostalgia.html

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.