Late nights and big cookies with Just Baked Boca

Every sweet tooth can agree that desserts taste better when you have them late at night. One business agreed and decided to deliver desserts into the late nights. Meet Just Baked Boca, located on 80 N Federal Hwy, Boca Raton. This store opened four years ago intending to serve desserts during late nights. Since then, owners Alex Roggenburg and Chris Conti have only expanded.

Photo by Gabriela Villamonte, Boca Raton Tribune

“We opened four years ago, August 2017 out of our house originally. Doing delivery only, only selling perishable goods, which are cookies and brownies. And we sold candy also at the time. So we could only sell things that if left out overnight, wouldn’t go bad,” says Roggenburg. 

Before getting their location, Just Baked operated alongside The Sanborn Cafe. The cookie business would work nights in partnership with the cafe for two years before moving out. “When Covid hit, a lot of businesses went out, including the business that used to be here, I CE NY, which is rolled Japanese ice cream and we just passed on the opportunity. Didn’t look back and we moved in here July 4th, 2020,” says Roggenburg.

Roggenburg and Conti had been planning a dessert business for quite some time, even with the great opportunity.  “Chris and I, my business partner, have been big dessert connoisseurs ever since we were back in our college days,” says Roggenburg.

“We’ve always just been getting desserts delivered and whatnot. And when we came back down here, we realized that there’s nothing around us like. It was just an idea that we came up with one day and we just ran with it.”

Roggenburg and Conti take their passion for dessert throughout their business. “We do cookies, brownies, giant stuffed cookies, brookies, ice cream sandwiches, milkshakes. If you want anything made a certain way, we can make it for you. Like say you want a cookie cake or a giant brownie or anything we can make that for you,” says Roggenburg. They also make sure to keep freshness and originality a goal in the dessert shop. 

Photo by Gabriela Villamonte, Boca Raton Tribune

“We make everything here from scratch with fresh ingredients. So we start with the flour, the sugar, the eggs, the butter, the baking soda, vanilla extract, all that stuff. And we have a 60-quart mixer in the back and we make all of our dough there every day from scratch. So we get here early in the morning and make sure everything’s made fresh every single day.”

“Freshness is one of our most important things. The product speaks for itself. When you go to other places, you eat cookies, and they might be sitting on the shelf for a day or two. But here, they’ve been made that day,” says Roggenburg. “And that’s what makes us different. We make our stuff fresh and with the best ingredients possible.”

On top of guaranteed freshness, Just Baked emphasizes unique menu items like their cookie cake. 

“The cookie cake is basically 12 cookies, like the weight of 12 cookies in one bowl. And, we usually take one dough and we’ll find some toppings to do it with. Let’s say we’ll do chocolate chip dough and we’ll mix Oreos in the dough. And then we’ll make it so it’s like a circular ball and we’ll stuff it with Nutella and marshmallow fluff.”

That’s not the only unique menu item that this dessert shop has. Just Baked has a CBD and Delta-8 menu for those who are interested. Customers can also ask to include those ingredients in their baked sweets. “We have a hemp food establishment permit from the state, which allows us to sell any hemp products such as CBD or Delta-8. After we got that, we just started, you know, trying it out. And it’s very, very popular and we just never look back.”

“Everything’s unflavored for the most part that we put on unless asked otherwise. It has no taste at all. So you could just be enjoying the good and you get the same health benefits from it. Without even feeling it.”

Photo by Gabriela Villamonte, Boca Raton Tribune

Roggenburg states that “CBD is a hemp derivative that has all the same health properties as THC from marijuana, but it doesn’t have any of the same side effects like getting high or something like that. So in essence, you’re just getting the positive stuff from it and getting out the cons, that’s my feeling.”

“If you don’t like that high feeling you can take it away from the CBD and just get the health benefits from it. CBD itself is proven scientifically to be very, very good for you.”

On top of their diverse and out-of-the-box menu items, Just Baked is also open late. From hours ranging from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Monday to Thursday. They are also open from 12 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday to Sunday. Being open so late is uncommon in Boca Raton and exactly what Roggenburg and Conti wanted.

“As young people, we tend to enjoy eating late or at least have the option to eat late. When we first started just big, we were still in our college years, so we were up late. We just figured, there’s not a niche for this around here. There’s nothing open late. And if something was open late, they would drive.”

Creating Just Baked as a nighttime spot to be was the goal for these owners. “There’s definitely a lot of people out there that enjoy their sweet tooth,” says Roggenburg. And he is right. The demand for a late-night dessert was high. This demand is what helped the company stay afloat during the hard times of the pandemic.

“The local community really stood by us through Covid. A lot of our customers are on the younger end for the most part. So when everything shut down, people were still ordering delivery when we had to close the store inside and reduce our hours. The whole community rallied around us through It’s a very tight-knit community out here in Boca, everybody knows everybody.”

Still, Just Baked was forced to adapt to the constantly changing problems of the pandemic. Like most businesses in Boca Raton, Just Baked was faced with frequent challenges and daily changes. “We just learned to adjust to that. And it’s just been a process. This is all new and fresh to us so we’re just trying to handle it the best way that we can be respectful of everybody,” says Roggenburg.

“The pandemic changed everything. The whole way of working in this industry, and how you deal with cleanliness and stuff like that that might have been overlooked in the past. And now everything has to be up to a certain standard or you can’t open it or they come and find you,” says Roggenburg.  

“So it was interesting to adjust, especially in the beginning when everyone had to close their doors and all they could do was pick up and deliver. Thankfully, the people that would have come in ended up still ordering through pick up or delivery.”

Photo by Gabriela Villamonte, Boca Raton Tribune

The ability to deliver to the masses is what helped Just Baked grow and thrive. As of July 30, Just Baked will be shipping its cookies nationwide. It is a big step that Roggenburg and Conti have been planning for some time. “In terms of shipping nationwide, we’re super, super excited for that. People around the country can finally get a taste of what we have to offer and it can help us figure out where to go in the future and expand,” says Roggenburg.

Throughout the ups and downs of owning a dessert shop, Conti and Roggenburg can agree that their customers are the best part of their business. “My favorite part of this is the customer reaction. By saying that our product is good and people want to come back. People write us reviews and stuff like that. I just feel good that we’re putting out a product that people truly enjoy and appreciate,” says Roggenburg. 

And Just Baked has high goals for its future. “We want to be known as the biggest, dessert place in the country. You’ve got to dream big,” says Roggenburg. With hopes to expand to the Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach area, owners Conti and Roggenburg hope to increase their success.

These dessert shop owners intend to expand their big ideas with franchise opportunities. On top of franchise opportunities, the dessert shop spreads its business with its food truck and nation shipping. Even with these big aspirations, the owners offer some advice to future business owners. 

Photo by Gabriela Villamonte, Boca Raton Tribune

“Find something you’re passionate about, work every day towards it, be okay with not making any money for a while and just keep your eye on the ball. It’s going to be a bumpy ride no matter what. You’re not going to go straight up, but you’re not going to go straight down,” says Roggenburg.

“You’re going to have your fair share of ups and downs. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to do the right thing. You’re going to do the wrong thing. But just don’t give up.”

Businesses like Just Baked rely on their local community to stay afloat and grow. With the support of loyal and new customers, unique dessert shops can share their unique art with the world. Whether that is in the form of cookies, brownies, brookies or milkshakes. Don’t forget to always support your local businesses and help them keep their doors open.

About the Author

- Lauren is a junior at Nova Southeastern University who is studying Communications, Creative Writing, and Strategic Communications. In her free time, she loves to go to the beach and writing what's on her mind.

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