Macarons are just one of the many sweets Jess Anderson whips up at her business, Jess Desserts.
Writer: Karla Walsh
If your kitchen is too hot to handle this summer, Jess Anderson, owner of Jess Desserts, has your back. Actually, she has your homemade macs, biscuits, scones, toaster pastries and so much more. Her baked-good products are made from scratch and use locally sourced ingredients. And many of them are a nod to her childhood.
“I grew up in a family of bakers and chefs, and my love for baking started when I was 9 years old,” Anderson says.
She later decided to turn her hobby into her career and honed her skills while receiving her culinary science degree from Iowa State University. Anderson officially launched Jess Desserts as a side project in September 2018. For the first year and a half, she established her brand by selling at Nosh, online and at local pop-ups (all while developing recipes for food publications by day). She decided to take the leap into making this her full-time job early on in the pandemic.
“My inspiration comes from all over,” she says. “Some items are things I grew up eating and making. Others are based on my favorite things or seasonal items and flavors,” such as the crunch cone-inspired macarons she sold at a recent Des Moines Downtown Farmers’ Market (where you can find her every Saturday). “I also get inspired by talking with friends, family and customers.”
In addition to her weekly farmers market appearances, Anderson offers an online menu for custom orders and also creates almost-too-pretty-to-eat dessert boxes each month for preorder via direct message on Instagram @jessdessertsdsm. That’s also where she announces the featured baked goods and pickup or delivery details. I ordered the May box to give to my mom for Mother’s Day. She and I were both blown away by the quality, the value and the clear attention to detail—not to mention the flavor hidden inside the fully loaded box of cinnamon rolls, scones, muffins, macarons and biscuits, all for $25. If you want the expert’s pick, Anderson’s current favorite is the homemade toaster pastry, her version of a Pop-Tart. Otherwise, she loves the lavender-honey macaron.
Visit jessdessertsdsm.com to learn more about how Anderson can make your next special day—or any day—a little sweeter.