It was a night filled with laughter, hugs, tears, cheers and an overflowing crowd at Drew’s Pastry Place as chef/owner, Andrew “Drew” Rogers celebrated his national TV debut on The Learning Channel’s, Bakery Boss on January 20, 2014.
On this newly launched TLC Bakery Boss series, Cake Boss reality TV star, Buddy Valastro reaches out to fledgling family owned bakeries like Rogers to step up their business. In this episode, Valastro’s Bakery Boss intervention results in newly created confections in addition to the Cannoli Cupcake available at Drew’s Pastry Place.
Drew’s Pastry Place is located at 10300 Louetta Road in Houston and was opened in 2003.
At the age of 40, Rogers closed his direct mail marketing business to enroll at LeNotre Culinary Institute to to fulfill a life-long dream of becoming a professional pastry chef. He worked as an assistant pastry chef for Master Chef Fritz Gitschner at the Houston Country Club for four years before opening his own shop in the Champions/Cy Fair area.
Rogers translated his classical French training into Italian to reflect his own family heritage. His cannolis, Italian crème cake, sfogliatelli, tiramisu, pignoli, and cucidati cookies are the tip of the iceberg. As a pastry chef steeped in European tradition, he was far less interested, though, in baking such treats as cupcakes, even if that meant hurting his bottom line sales.
Valastro, though he gave Rogers high marks for his numerous desserts, also pointed out where he could be more strategic in his dessert and food offerings. He also redesigned the shop to better showcase his merchandise for the local clientele.
The result was a better, more improved Drew’s Pastry Place from top to bottom with inviting spaces and a widely varied menu of delectable delights from cupcakes to cookies and more.
“Buddy threw me some hardballs from the start and really challenged me on how I run my business and interact with my family, who are not only investors, but co-workers," said Rogers, who turned his passion for making Italian pastries into a second career in 2005. “Buddy may have riled me at times, but in the end, I think that’s what brought me to come up with Cannoli Cupcakes, a brand new signature dessert idea,” he continued.
Cannoli Cupcakes combine Rogers’s love of creating traditional Italian pastry with the ever-popular American staple of cupcakes. “Buddy loved the idea and that comes through on the show,” he said.
Following Valastro’s advice was the chance to make Drew’s Pastry Place a bigger and better business. “I’ve put my heart and soul into this place, not to mention mine and my family’s savings. It’s got to succeed,” said Rogers. Investors include his mother, Joan Rogers, who retired from Compaq Computer and HP after 18 years and invested her entire 401-K retirement into her son’s business.
Rogers’ wife of 23 years, Carla Rogers added, “Buddy helped bring the conversation to a trigger point, spurring Drew’s “Aha!” moment with regard to creating a signature cupcake that’s a win-win. The ‘Bakery Boss’ pushed hard, but he finally got Drew see his business in a different light.”
For further information, visit www.drewspastryplace.com.