379: Strategic risk taking with Jenny Peterson


In this episode, how Jenny Peterson got her start as a baker, getting work experience before opening your own restaurant, learning what not to do from previous experiences, being a strategic/calculated risk taker, making it fun, honesty, values, trusting your gut, make the most of the slow time, scaling into your vision by taking it slow and steady, the impact colors have on your brand imaging, knowing your lane, asking “are you willing before making all decisions, checking your ego at the door, not correcting people; correcting processes, the impact of doing what you love, knowing and sharing your why.

It all began with an Easy Bake Oven. From an early age, Jenny had her hand in whatever her mother was baking.  she graduated from the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, then interned in one of the most successful bakeries in Paris, “Boulangerie-Pâtisserie Lohezic.” Upon arriving back to Charlottesville, Jenny worked at the Boar’s Head Inn, then soon after she continued to pursue her pastry dreams. Today she is the Chef-Owner of Paradox Pastry Cafe located in Charlottesville, VA. 


Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

“Are you willing?”

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Career Challenge or Failure

Not sharing her vision and her “why” during the early days of owner her bakery/cafe.

Knowledge bombs

  1. Which “it factor” habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?

    • Consistency.
    • steady.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

    • Working too hard.
  3. What is one piece of advice you have for leading others?

    • Lead by example.
    • Be what you want others to be.
  4. What’s one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?

    • Ask, “Are you willing.”
  5. What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    • Meeting the demands of the production schedule during the busy wedding season.
    • Keeping moral
      • keep it light.
      • let your people know you have their back
  6. What’s one thing (besides food) your restaurant does well and separates you from other restaurants?

    • Being genuinely interested in others.
  7. What’s one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?

    1. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
    2. Vital Signs: the Nature and Nurture of Passion
  8. What’s one piece of technology you’ve adopted in your restaurant and how has it influence operations?

  9. With all the knowledge you have now if you could go back in time and give your past self one piece of business advice, What would it be and why?

    • Be assertive

Contact Info


facebook/Paradox Pastry

Insta: @paradoxpastry


Thanks for Listening!

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Huge thanks to Jenny Peterson for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!