Norrinda Brown comes from a long line of women who work magic in the kitchen. To share some of that goodness, Norrinda and her mom Linda, formed the Philly based Brown Betty Dessert Boutique in 2004 and have been satisfying sweeth tooths around the country ever since. Their newest project, The Brown Betty Cookbook, proves that these ladies can serve a beautiful story just as well as their scrumptious desserts. With a few sneak peeks from the book, here Norrinda also shares more on the cookbook and what feeds her inspiration.
Why did you all decide to create the cookbook & how do you feel now that it’s published?
At first, I wanted to do the cookbook simply because it seemed like all of the bakeries I respected had cookbooks. The more we worked on the project, however, and narrowed in on what the book would/could be the book made sense for our brand. Brown Betty is all about family coming together and we wanted people to be able to make the recipes at home for their own families. Also, it was a great vehicle to further promote the Brown Betty brand and tell our story.
Now that it is published. I am glad we have done it and I hope that it inspires people to bake for their own families.
Can you describe the process for making the cookbook come together?
We first found an agent. She helped us really refine our ideas for the book. We then wrote a book proposal, which included a couple of sample recipes and a few stories. After that was all done there was an auction for the book and the real work began. We had approximately six months to turn the manuscript over including culling through family albums and coming up with a selection of vintage pictures we wanted to share, writing short stories about the women that we have named our cakes after and, last but not least, refining our recipes for publication.
What else is in store for The Brown Betty Boutique?
Brown Betty is working on a pantry concept right now - including a delicious roasted pepper jelly and a cranberry relish for the holidays. The line will expand seasonally from there. We have just finished our first line of aprons in collaboration with Nic*Fish, a local, indie Philadelphia designer. This first run is denim cut in flirty shapes for the modern hostess. We are looking to ship bundt cakes by the end of the year! And, of course, we are going to keep developing baked goods and experimenting with new flavors - like peppermint on red velvet for this winter holiday season!
What are you personally inspired by (music, fashion, books etc) and how does your style filter into Betty Brown Boutique?
I get inspiration from so many things. First up, is fashion. I spend significant time on the west coast and like a lot of indie California designers like Claire Vivier and Heidi Merrick. They are both fresh and I draw inspiration from everything from their branding to their color combinations. I really do believe that inspiration is everywhere. I get a lot of inspiration from hotels and restaurants. Just recently, I stayed at the new Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia and there was inspiration to be found everywhere from wallpaper prints to little notes that were left for us in our room, all of which inspired custom cake designs for the bakery.
Written by Grace Powell for Fly.