i'll try to summarize myself and the bakery in 10 pics. let's go!
i'm a first generation vietnamese american from houston, tx (pronouns are he/him/his). i grew up knowing i wanted to make a difference in people's lives but didn't know exactly how. i tossed around ideas of being a teacher, an actor on SNL, and a classical violinist. ultimately, i found out i wanted to be a veterinarian and applied to vet school. but more on that later.
outside of the bakery and vet life, i love collecting house plants (60+ plants and hopefully more hehe), woodworking, and playing tennis. some other random facts are: i auditioned for "crazy rich asians," used to be obsessed with beatboxing, and love talking about every component of a movie. also, i'm an aries and an ENFJ
growing up, i loved eating food. like, i loved, loved, LOVED food (still do). i actually used to watch the food network daily. one day after school, my mom took me to the burger king drive through and asked what i wanted to eat. excited and hungry, i told her i wanted the fried mac and cheese balls. my mom slowly turned around from her drivers seat and whispered, 'i don't think you shouldn't have that. you should choose something a bit healthier.' after that, i vowed no one will stop me and my stomach from getting what we want. i started cooking on my own to make the foods i wanted to eat. i eventually started baking and when i got really depressed in high school, i used baking as a creative outlet. so thanks depression!
fast forward to november of 2020 when i saw a local plant market listing applications for vendors. being a new plant daddy, i knew i wanted to attend the market but also thought how fun it would be to be a vendor. seeing as how i always wanted to share my baked goods, i took the chance and applied. andddd the rest was history! people seemed to like my stuff and online vet school allowed me to schedule time to bake and do markets. that was pretty cool. so at least once or twice a month i did a market or pop up and continued to experiment with different desserts!
Brian's Bitchin' Bakery est. November 2020.
one day, my partner at the time and i were planning our meal prep and i asked what did we want to do for dessert. he jokingly said 'cookies' (which was his favorite thing to eat) and i joked back and said 'might as well get boba'. he then made the biggest smile and said, "why don't you make boba flavor cookies?" intrigued, i tried to look up recipes and didn't have any luck finding them. so i began to experiment on how to infuse tea flavors into cookies. (pictured above: earl grey, lavender, and blueberry cookie)
from August of 2020 - August of 2021, i was a vet student at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine! i did most of my first year online due to covid-19 and so i just made time to do the bakery stuff every now and then while i was still in TX. in may of 2021, BBB had to take a big pause as i moved to the island of St. Kitts & Nevis (east of Puerto Rico for those of you wondering) to attend in person classes. so the picture above is actually me after my white coat ceremony haha. while I felt like i was getting one step closer to my dream of becoming a veterinarian, something felt off. i'll explain in a second but after living on the island for a few months, i decided to withdraw and reapply to vet school within the states. i knew if i wanted to take care of my mental health, i needed a change in the environment.
after leaving ross university, i reapplied to vet schools still unsure whether or not i wanted to be a vet. although i had dedicated almost 6+ years of my life to the field, something just wasn't clicking. that passion/drive wasn't what it used to be. i decided that i'd let the universe tell me what to do and that once i get accepted into the next few schools, i'll have time before the fall semester starts to see if i still wanna be a vet. HOWEVER...it definitely helped me make my decision after the schools i applied to said no...
while i'm grateful for my time in vet school and wouldn't change a thing, the bakery was constantly on my mind when i wasn't studying. i avoided logging onto my bakery's social media account because i would get sad seeing how my friends' small businesses were growing. don't get me wrong i was 100% happy for them. but it reminded me of the potential and endless ideas i had for the bakery that i felt suddenly was taken away from me. i actually burst into tears explaining my internal dilemma when i was on the island facetiming my bff who was in the states. she then tells me that whenever i was running the bakery, she saw how i was thriving like she had never seen before at every market and pop up. and that she was so proud of what i had built and felt like this was my calling. (pictured is the one and only time i baked while in vet school. cookie butter cupcakes with a biscoff whipped cream filling that kept melting cuz i had no a/c in the living room)
after taking my last final in vet school, i withdrew from the university and started planning my return with the bakery. and i have no regrets since. the houston community has been so SO amazing and i truly love getting to share what i have to offer. to be able to create "foodie memories" as y'all take a bite of something i create is something i still can't believe i'm a part of. when i'm not prepping for markets and events, i'm working part time as a veterinary technician! i'm always going to have a soft spot in my heart for the vet field. we see everything and do almost everything. whether it's taking x-rays, doing lab work, assisting in surgery, prepping for your pet's vaccines, etc, we do it. so make sure to say thank you to your local vet!
i DEFINITELY could not have made it this far without the support of my family and friends. from prep day of baking and packing 400+ cookies in one night to the lines of the crazy market/pop-ups, they've been my rock. they've also stayed up with me till 4am on a few occasions. never. again. and fun fact, they're all in the healthcare field! so badasses on top of BADASSES. i love y'all so much and thank you thank you thank you (pic includes only some of those who helped me throughout the years. there's def so much more. love you mom <3)
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