Chef Maya-Camille Broussard is a talented pastry chef, entrepreneur and advocate for Black-owned businesses. She founded Justice of the Pies, a bakery on the South Side known for its delicious sweet and savory pies.
Broussard not only makes pie, quiches and tarts. Her astute ability to make pies differentiates her from her peers.
Losing 75% of her hearing at one made her hard of hearing. It also made her sensitive to those in the deaf community. However, her condition has given her leverage to focus more on flavor.
More than a pastry chef, Broussard is also a philanthropist at heart, and her passion for serving communities and baking landed her a TED Talk where she spoke about the “Ingredients for Your Calling.”
In her segment, she spoke about her upbringing and love of pies. Broussard rose to even more fame thanks to her appearance on the Netflix original hit series “Bake Squad.”
Making Pies on the South Side
Justice of the Pies store front (Photo, justiceofthepies.com).
The name of Broussard’s Avalon Park pie shop is a play on the phrase “Justice of the peace,” yet it is also an ode to her late father, Stephen J. Broussard, a criminal defense attorney and community advocate.
Opening a bakery on the South Side of Chicago was strategic for Broussard. Her bakery is in the same establishment as her mother’s childhood dentist’s office!
Holding nostalgic notes of love and warmth isn’t the only reason she opened her bakery there. Broussard wants to bring more support, investment and visibility to the South Side. She also wants those interested in her pies to travel south and experience the culture that helped shape her.
“I knew that when I opened my own brick and mortar, it had to be on the South Side…It’s a misconception that Chicago is dangerous and it’s not safe to travel to experience the entire city… People come to Chicago and feel they are regulated to the Downtown, River North, Gold Coast areas, but there is so much culture, history and beauty on the South Side. I grew up here. I’m proud of the South Side, I am proud of Chicago, and I am proud to represent the Black community.
I grew up here. I’m proud of the South Side, I am proud of Chicago, and I am proud to represent the Black community.
Opening a business in the Avalon Park area of Chicago was met with some pushback from people who prefer Chicago’s downtown aesthetics and convenience.
However, she supplied a demand that has been missing from the area. Her pies can be ordered and shipped for those not willing to travel. Those willing to make the trek to try the “culinary artist” of sweet and savory pies are in for a flavorful journey that leaves them satisfied at the moment while craving more treats in the future.
Living in a world with a disability has taught Ms. Broussard the importance of inclusivity.
A number of the store’s counters have a height of 32 inches, complying with the requirements set by the American Disabilities Act, ensuring they can be easily used by individuals in wheelchairs.
Different floor tile textures are present in various parts of the shop, aiding customers with visual impairments who rely on walking canes to move around.
Additionally, the store’s signage includes Braille markings and the language used is deliberately inclusive.
A Passion for Pies and Black-Owned Businesses
Maya-Camille Broussard, founder of Justice of the Pies (Photo, Nicole Joseph).
While delivering her TED Talk, Broussard answers the following questions, “What fuels your passion?”
She answered: “A bakery that gives people a second chance by employing a safe place for employees to flourish while being able to support their families.”
What’s even more selfless about Chef Maya is that she offers youth baking classes. She has also written a cookbook for those who want to make pies and treats, and she provides bite-size recipes via TikTok and Instagram to quickly make her recipes in a fun, engaging way.
As chef Broussard sells her delicious desserts and fine tunes her menu to serve other options, Chicagoans and tourists should prepare to visit “Justice of the Pies” for their ultimate pie favorites while getting blown away by unorthodox new flavors like “Blue Cheese Praline Pear Pie” and “Strawberry Basil Key Lime Pie.”
This Black Business Month and beyond, pie and dessert lovers should regard Broussard as a leader, entrepreneur, advocate and lover of tasty sweets.
The trip to the Avalon Park area on the South Side of Chicago will be worth the ride for those local or visiting.
Broussard’s selfless desire to support other businesses reflects her commitment to her community. She exudes excitement when sharing how her strategic approach to help other Black-owned businesses exemplifies the power of collaboration.
When you walk into her bakery, you’ll see brands like Brooklyn Tea, Butter By Keba, Octavia Morgan perfume, and Monday Coffee Co. — all of which can be purchased alongside your favorite pie!
Why does she take pride in supporting other businesses? Well, because others have helped her.
“I attribute a lot of my success to someone taking the chance on me and training me and teaching me how to embrace the greatness that I have and how to explore and exercise my creativity.”
In honor of August being Black Business Month, the Chicago Defender is running a series of profiles on our city’s dynamic Black entrepreneurs.