Well Baked By J: Beauty, Baking and Bounty

Long Island native Juliet Cavallaro’s life has centered around two big B’s: beauty and baking. Growing up, she was active with karate and swim team. But when it came to her path forward, it was the first B that ruled, along with an affinity for entrepreneurialism. Case in point: In sixth grade, she started a business doing her friends’ nails.

In high school, she worked toward her cosmetology license, using it at one of the biggest salons on Long Island. Later, at FIT, she earned a degree in cosmetic and beauty marketing. Her senior year of college, she nabbed an internship at a skincare company that changed her life. Other high-end skincare jobs followed, and eventually Cavallaro stared delving into how gut health translates to all types of health, including skin. She saw her own allergies and stomach issues disappear when she removed gluten and dairy from her life, and soon after, she developed a wellness program for clients.  

Noticing how seriously food choices affected her own health and that of patients she’d met along the way, Cavallaro began to investigate how to provide healthier, gluten- and dairy-free options for customers looking to feel and look better from the inside out. Soon, Well Baked by J was born, providing delicious, nutritious, irritant-free options. Read on to learn more about this creative cookie maven.  

SBS: How did Well Baked by J finally come about?

Juliet Cavallaro: I’ve always been into healthy baking, and I have a sweet tooth. But I had been learning that I shouldn’t be eating dairy and gluten, and I noticed most places don’t have something sweet for me. Every once in a while, there’s an option, but often it’s loaded with sugar. So I started playing around with different ideas, and my friends loved what I was making. That pushed me to start my own business at the end of 2016. Now, I have a commercial kitchen, and I go there once or twice a week, making everything myself along with distributing it. I wholesale chocolate chip cookies, brookies, vegan paleo fudge and almond butter blondies. 

SBS: What are the challenges and benefits of starting your own business?

JC: Originally I had a business partner, but now I’m doing this by myself. I really believe in the business and company. Having a business is not for everyone, and we’re still on good terms. You really are mentally working all the time, and you have to be able to shift your whole life around. Sometimes your business has to come first, especially when it’s a baby. I had to start over by myself, and that gave me motivation to go hard. In the past couple months, I’ve grown so much. 

SBS: What are your tips and tools as an entrepreneur?

JC: I swear by checklists. I have a notebook, and I have to write down what I’m doing that day and week. I love seeing a physical calendar in front of me. 

Also, focus on one thing at a time. It’s easy to want to do it all, but you can’t do it all at the same time. That’s impossible, especially alone. You have to know when to say no. 

SBS: What’s important to remember about gut health and nutrition choices?

JC: The number one thing is definitely to listen to your body. There are so many things you could be reacting to, and those items are individual to you. Others might say something is ‘healthy,’ but it may not work for you. Take cruciferous veggies (kale, broccoli cauliflower): They are healthy for most, but they can be problematic for you. So be in tune with how your body feels. If you’re eating five cups of cauliflower and your stomach blows up, notice that. Even if there’s a trend and craze others are into, it may not be for you.

Also, a balanced diet is key, and I think too much of anything isn’t good. For myself, I can tolerate certain foods, and others I can’t. Keep a food journal, and that will help you keep track. A lot of times what we’re eating manifests on the outside. 


SBS: What are your tips for baking?

JC: Experiment. You have to keep experimenting and not get frustrated. You might be reading blogs and Pinterest, but until you’re in the kitchen modifying it to what you want, you won’t really know. You’ll end up throwing out a lot of stuff, and that’s ok.

I love using nuts and seeds, which helps with protein and fiber, while keeping carbs down. I also like using natural types of sugar, like coconut sugar, in small quantities. Or, if I’m using a recipe and want to make it sweeter, I can use honey or maple sugar instead of dumping in white sugar. I look for things that have other health benefits, like honey, which is anti-fungal and antioxidant.

SBS: What’s one of your favorite healthy snacks?

JC: My favorite is a warm sweet potato. I use one tablespoon of Sun Butter (sunflower seed butter) and sprinkle cinnamon and pumpkin seeds on top. It’s so yummy as a snack with coffee: sweet with good carbs and fat. Great for pre-workout or just as a pick-me-up. 

Juliet’s Long Island Faves

Healthy Restaurant: Wild Fig
Splurge Restaurant: Kyma
Yoga Studio: Bikram Yoga Roslyn
Fitness Studio: CrossFit Nine7
Fun Activity: Experimenting with baking
Calming Activity: Watching a TV show in bed, like “Untold Stories of the ER” or “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”
Athleticwear: Aritzia and Lululemon
Athletic Shoes: New Balance
Online Resources:  MyFitnesspal and Wu Haus
Books: Grain Brain by Dr. Perlmutter and Million Dollar Women by Julia Pimsleur 

Juliet’s Sticky Be Socks Mantra:  Be Kind. Starting with a good heart to do all of the above is always a good move. 

The best, zaniest part of being Juliet: I’d like to think my brain is split between being 50 percent business and 50 percent creative. Although I’m a business woman, and I think a lot about numbers, I can be silly and let my hair down. If you put my two sisters and I together, it gets fun real fast.  

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