Jordan Smith is #MadeForKnoxville.

With an inclusive mentality that stems from her own experience with celiac disease, Jordan makes gluten-free desserts that everyone can enjoy.

When Jordan set a personal challenge to bake 52 pies in a year, she hoped it would help her cope with the stress of being in grad school. As she worked towards her goal, she became more confident in sharing about her struggles and triumphs with baking and living with celiac disease. To her delight, she found it is possible to have a career in food as a baker who makes 100% gluten-free desserts. She now regularly sells out at markets with her seasonally-inspired pies and pastries, all while intentionally using her voice in the community to advocate for mental health. 

“I strive to offer delicious dessert options that are delicious BECAUSE they are gluten-free, not in spite of it.”

In Their Own Words…

Small Comforts Kitchen is a micro bakery specializing in pies and pastries. 100% gluten-free and inspired by seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients, I strive to offer delicious dessert options that are delicious BECAUSE they are gluten-free, not in spite of it. I have celiac myself and am passionate about building a stronger food community by offering high quality food that more people can enjoy. Mental health advocacy is also really important to me and I try to share my story of my own mental health journey and how food has helped me heal.

What led to entrepreneurship:

I started my business in November of 2022. I’ve always had a passion for food, but after a diagnosis of celiac disease in 2012, I thought it might not be possible for me to have a career working in food. Fast forward to 2021, when I learned about Real Good Kitchen. During summer breaks while in grad school to become a librarian, I worked for two gluten-free bakeries that operated out of Real Good Kitchen, and then set myself the challenge in 2022 of baking 52 pies in a year as a way to deal with stress while I finished my degree. I didn’t really expect to hit my goal, but by the summer it was clear that I had a brand new passion, and that I was making food that people in Knoxville were really excited about. I started selling pies for Thanksgiving 2022 and haven’t looked back since. My goal is to open a brick & mortar pie shop in the next five years.

Lessons learned:

One struggle for me is balance. Since I’m in the early days of my business, I currently still have a full-time day job, so finding ways to schedule around that and still attend markets and pop-ups has been a challenge. I have definitely learned that I am the only one who can decide what is right for me, and that I get to decide my pace and next steps. It can be a difficult line to walk but it’s also very rewarding.


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