Baking with Justin Yuen


Image courtesy of Justin Yuen

By Zachary Berger, Staff Writer

If you are ever conflicted about what to have for a snack or treat we always look to that cookie to satisfy that craving. There are hundreds of choices out there but there is one that satisfies better than others. Those cookies are made by the company JBakes. For those that are not aware, JBakes is run by Senior and SkillsUSA officer Justin Yuen. In this edition of Student Spotlight, we will visit with Justin and learn about him along with seeing what it takes to run your own company and still go to high school. 

Running a company alone is rough, but how about being a senior in high school to boot? When asked about how he felt about being that close to the finish line of high school, Justin responded back by saying it sucks he has to leave Boro. He also added by saying he made unforgettable memories throughout each year. Out of his four years in the school, he did say his favorite moment was helping fundraise and help a little for his Senior class when it comes to the local food drive that ends in January. 

Justin, when asked about his favorite teacher at Boro, said, “English Teacher Mrs. Hanscom.” As school prepares you for real world experiences, he had advice to give to lowerclassmen, freshmen and upcoming freshmen. He said, “Don’t be afraid of becoming a highschooler, everyone is nice and is willing to help you out. Just be who you are.” 

Justin started his cookie company, JBakes, in 2018 when he was in 7th grade. He started the company off of inspiration from his friends.

Whenever you want to buy cookies from Yuen himself, you will be able to find a variety of cookie choices. JBakes sells chocolate chip, matcha and raspberry lemon cookies. He also said that since the holidays are coming up, he has decided to release flavors once that time comes. The new flavors will be a butter spritz cookie and a chocolate chia cookie. Justin said that if he were to bake with anyone, he would pick his supporters! He loves the support you give him towards his company. 

Owning and running your company can be expensive for most anyone, let alone a highschooler. So, to combat those costs, a scenario Justin was asked about was if he won the lottery and what he would do with the winnings. In true Justin fashion, he said he would invest in a franchise business to start his own restaurant/cafe which he would name JBakes Cafe. Seeing dollar signs Justin would then look to visit Japan because of his love for their style and the food. 

It is that love for food that spawned the question to Justin that if he received an opportunity to appear on Masterchef, and was told to create a dish that explains who you are, what dish would he make and why. Justin was quick to respond by saying, “I would make a dessert, which would be related with my raspberry lemon cookie. It shows my passion and how I’ve made it this far in the last years. Developing new recipes and keeping my baking passion in my blood for the last 6 years.” 

With the calendar vanishing to the end of the school year, any senior will have their sights set on what is next. In Justin’s case, that is an even bigger question, with his company also on the line. When asked where he sees himself and his business too once done with school he pondered, “Hopefully on a bigger scale; once I learn how to upscale a business correctly I will do it and try to get JBakes on the shelves of stores.”

To steal a line from another baked goods company Carol’s Cookies out of Chicago, “Life is short. Surround yourself with good people, and only eat good cookies.” Those good cookies are sold at JBakes by your fellow Boro member Justin Yuen.