Juli Roberts and her daughter, Jessica Roberts Ridley, share the management—and the baking!—at Flour de Lis Bakery in the Highlands, where they make Southern-inspired desserts, birthday and specialty cakes and wedding cakes. They also serve coffee and breakfast, and they are open in the evenings so that customers can enjoy dessert with coffee or tea.
How did your Bellarmine education help prepare you for what you are doing today?
The way the Master of Arts in Teaching program is designed encourages teamwork and sharing of knowledge and experience. That is relevant to any career. And it doesn’t hurt that I was a teacher for 14 years. That prepares you for working with adults as well as children in any setting (including bakeries).
What advice do you have for Bellarmine alumni or students interested in pursuing your profession?
Teaching is a fulfilling career. I have been retired for a little over four years and I still miss sharing the fun of learning and seeing that spark in their eyes. Teaching is demanding work. I would encourage undergrad and grad students alike to make the most of their program and give it all they have. I felt well-prepared for my positions in teaching. As for the business world, my education at Bellarmine enhanced my skills in organization, presentation, teamwork and technology.
What career accomplishments are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the success of our bakery. We started from nothing. We just opened our doors and hoped that people would find us. It feels good to be part of building community in our neighborhood. I love chatting with the people that come in and pleasing them with a delicious treat. It is also really special that the baking talent behind the business is my daughter. We make a great team!