When Safiya Burton was 11 years old and a student at Immaculate Conception High School in Kingston, Jamaica, she had two recurring dreams: the first was that she was married to Eddie Murphy whose profession was a pilot. The second was that she was in charge of the largest retail bakery in the world, with huge factories and 18-wheeler trucks, delivering her freshly baked goods all over the world.
Around the same time, although appreciative, she began to get frustrated with her meagre lunch allowance (around J$10 per week), as she could neither buy cooked lunches which the other students seemed to always be able to enjoy (she had to settle for her mother’s daily corned beef sandwich), nor treat herself to her weekly nail polish fix (a huge dilemma back then!)
She therefore decided to start baking on weekends. She would then sell from her book bag at lunch time. The line would stretch through the corridors and she had to be careful to not get caught by her teachers, as this was strictly forbidden at her all-girls Catholic high school. It was this experience that ignited her passion for baking, along with inspiration from her mother and grandmother, who were also excellent bakers.
Pastry Passions opened its first retail bakery location at the Sovereign Centre in Kingston, Jamaica on January 11, 2007. It was definitely off to a rocky start, as there was no refrigeration, so they had to store their eggs in the pastry display cases in full view of the customers, along with the baked products for sale.
Pastry Passions has come a long way since then. They are happy to report that not only does Pastry Passions have refrigeration, but it also has established its strong reputation as the best retail bakery in Jamaica, some even say the world!