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Councillor Corner - Ward 1, Carla Devlin

Posted: June 23, 2020

Councillor Corner
Ward 1 - Carla Devlin

If there was ever a time to get creative, it certainly has been these past few months!  None of us are unaffected by COVID-19 and we’re all finding a way to adjust to the new ‘normal’.

It has unapologetically changed the way we do business, the way we shop, the way we spend our time and most importantly, how we stay positive.  Despite our children being affected by physical distancing, quarantines and school closures, these trying times have prompted a couple of young entrepreneurs in my ward to think outside of the box.  Meet Kristen Buller and Brenin Devlin – both putting their talents to work in the kitchen!

At a young age, Kristen knew she had a passion for cooking.  This passion quickly turned into a dream come true when she headed off to London, England to pursue her education in culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu, graduating in 2019. 

With a diploma in Culinary Management to her credit, she put her skills to work as a pastry chef at a dessert and champagne bar at the luxurious Hotel Café Royal in London, called Cakes & Bubbles, owned by renowned Top Pastry Chef Albert Adrià. 

Sadly, COVID-19 forced the hotel to close and Kristen found herself heading back home to East St. Paul and wondering what her future was going to look like.  While observing the 14-day quarantine order, she began using her Instagram account to showcase her talents and created a menu for easy to heat up pastries and meals that are oven ready, including lasagna, pizza, meatballs, savory Tuscan soup and sweet treats ready to bake. 

The coronavirus pandemic may have left the food industry with lots of uncertainty, but Kristen says it gave her a plan, forcing her out of her comfort zone.  She always dreamed of starting a home-based food service but never felt she was ready … until now.  At 20 years old, Kristen is full speed ahead and registered to begin business school at Grand Canyon University in Arizona this fall. Follow Kristen on Instagram @ england_eats.

Nine-year-old Brenin Devlin, my son, might one day follow in Kristen’s culinary footsteps! Being quarantined ignited Brenin’s imagination and his entrepreneurial spirit!

With the extra time he had on his hands he started to think about what he could do to keep busy and maybe even make a little cash. He loves to bake and his family loves to eat his cookies, so he decided he’d see if they were popular outside of his household.

Armed with his mom’s lessons on the importance of hard work and dedication and to make sure you love what you do, he set about baking cookies. He advertised them on his Instagram account (@brennybearcookies) and waited for orders.

His sweet idea caught on and his made-to-order soft and chewy oatmeal coconut, oatmeal raisin and peanut butter cookies are being enjoyed by his neighbours!

I’d love to hear what you’ve been inspired to create during the COVID-19 quarantine. Email me your story at carla.devlin@eaststpaul.com.

Picture:  Kristen Buller and Brenin Devlin


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