We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenny Huynh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jenny, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
My grandfather owned a wholesale bakery for 20 years in Tuy Hòa, Vietnam before fleeing Vietnam in 1979 to seek a better life for his family. As refugees resettled in the United States, he continued to bake, sharing with friends and family as a way to express his love and keep traditions alive even when distant from the country he once called home. I grew up watching my grandparents make mooncakes, sticky rice and mung bean cakes, and many other traditional items during big holidays. I always grew up interested in learning more from my grandparents but never committed to the idea because I was concerned our stubbornness would prevent us from doing so. COVID-19 lockdowns allowed me the opportunity to ask more questions and learn techniques the traditional way. What started as a bake sale to fundraise for APPI organizations has grown into so much more. It has become an outlet for me to express my creativity and innovation skills inn ways my full time job does not allow me to.
Named after my grandfather, BA KỲ mixes traditional recipes from his family bakery in Vietnam with modern interpretations based on a California upbringing.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
For me, what makes Ba Ky special is that it is very personal. Food helps share culture, history, and stories. With Ba Ky, that is what we are trying to do. To take things passed down from generations and share that with a curious audience. This is why we have been doing a drop based format instead of just a stable menu. For us each drop gives an opportunity to make more than just a delicious baked good, but to combine that with some levels of why and how this is an important or delicious treat. Being able to share the context behind it, whether that be a traditional item with a recipe passed down or a new spin inspired by my upbringing here in So Cal.
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?
I grew up in Long Beach so I would have to include a stop at Gusto Breads for some amazing sesame bread and concha. We would walk around Retro Row, visit some amazing local businesses and then grab a slice of pizza at Little Coyote. We would also drive along the coast on PCH and take in the amazing views. If it was a Sunday, we would make a stop at Alana’s coffee in Mar Vista before walking to the Mar Vista Farmers market and grabbing local items to have a little picnic at the park.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My boyfriend Daniel deserves credit for initially pushing me to start baking for more than just my friends and family. He helps develop recipes, recipe test, provides support during stressful times and is the other half of Ba Kỳ baked goods. We try to utilize our strengths in working together when planning, coordinating, and executing our monthly drops and pop ups. As we both work full time jobs, I am thankful to have him along on this journey.
My friends and family deserve a shoutout for their continuous support, check-ins, and providing feedback on recipes. My parents have been extremely helpful during the process especially with packaging and providing insight and troubleshooting when recipe testing does not go as planned.
To new and old followers of Ba Kỳ bakedgoods, thank you for your support, kind words, and feedback on the brand and past drops! It always makes me happy to hear people try new items/flavors and identify something new they enjoy eating or sharing with their friends and family.
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