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

Hi Julie, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I had spent 10 years in the pastry industry, working for a hotel, restaurant and catering business. The hours are long, and weekends and holidays are rarely days you get off. At the time I was single, so I put all my time and focus into work. I knew though, if I ever had a family, I would not have a healthy work life balance if I continued working in the restaurant/catering arena. When I got married, I started to seek out positions that gave me a healthier work life balance, and took on two part time jobs. One job with a local community college teaching cake decorating and another as a cake decorator for a local bakery. When the pandemic hit, I was let go at the bakery, and my class at the college was cancelled, but had recently found out I was pregnant. I knew if I was ever blessed with children, I wanted to stay at home and raise them. When we had our son, it meant the world to me to be home with him, yet I still had a desire to exercise my creative side, and use my gift of baking. I had some close friends ask me to make decorated sugar cookies and cakes for their kids birthday, and I realized this was totally something I could take on and do from home. I also realized there is a big market for decorated sugar cookies, and many of the businesses out there were self taught stay at home moms. I knew with my background and training in pastry arts, I already had many of the tools and techniques under my belt. I started to read and educated myself about cottage food laws, and realized Texas was very cottage law friendly. Shortly there after I started my company, Refined Sugars, in November of 2021.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve had a fondness for the kitchen ever since I was a child. I grew up with food always being the focal point of family gatherings. While I attend Auburn University, I realized my love for baking and sharing with friends was more than a personal passion, but a career path I wanted to pursue. Upon graduating with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, I moved to San Francisco to attend California Culinary Academy and earned a degree in Pastry and Baking. In February of 2010, I joined The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, where I expanded and honed my pastry skills, learning under great talent. In 2013, I was asked to be apart of the opening team for a restaurant called Savor Gastropub, where I served as Pastry Chef. Within a year, the company launched a catering business, and cake business, and I moved into Pastry Chef over all divisions of the company. I had to sacrifice many things, while working in the culinary industry. You sacrifice, your time, your weekends, your holidays, your friends/family. But I also gained something from my time in the industry. I gained grit, and hard work ethic, which are two things I’m so grateful for. Those two attributes have been a valuable resource in the daily navigation of life.

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?
Dallas has some great spots. I’d make sure to take friends/family to Bishop Arts District. There are so many great little shops, and I’d be sure to eat at Lucia, and then stop by Dude, Sweet Chocolate for something sweet. Greenville Avenue would also be on the list. If the weather is nice, I’d take them to HG Supply Co. and sit up on their rooftop patio to enjoy a cocktail. I’d also take them to Carte Blanche for breakfast one morning. They have the most beautiful and delicious selection of artisan pastries! The Arboretum and White Rock Lake, is one of my favorite places to walk around, and during the summer, you can catch a concert at the Arboretum. After some shopping at North Park Mall, I’d take them to Eataly, which is a fun little Italian market inside the mall. One other must stop spot would be Homewood. The food there is some of the best I’ve had in Dallas.

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?
There have been a handful of people who have supported me along the way, but two people truly stand out. In my professional career, the biggest advocate along the way was the chef/owner I worked under, John Coleman. He continued to push my abilities, and saw the potential and talent in me, that at times, I could not see. Currently, my biggest supporter is my husband, Heath. He is an endless supply of encouragement and my biggest fan. He will help me with anything I need, from washing dishes, to helping with deliveries. It means the world to me that he is as invested in Refined Sugars, as I am.

Instagram: @refinedsugars

Facebook: Refined Sugars

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