Justice of the Pies, a new retail, production kitchen and teaching kitchen space, will officially open in Avalon Park on Friday. Justice of the Pies is the brainchild of South Side native and chef Maya-Camille Broussard, a James Beard Awards finalist who also stars in the Netflix show “Bake Squad.” 

Justice of the Pies is a bakery specializing in sweet and savory pies, quiches and tarts.

The new brick and mortar location for Broussard’s Justice of the Pies is in the building that once housed her mother’s childhood dentist’s office. Broussard grew up in Hyde Park and South Shore but frequently traveled to Avalon, Chatham and neighboring Calumet Heights communities to visit restaurants and the beauty shop. So Broussard knew the South Side was the desired place to house her newest venture. 

“It was kismet because it is three blocks away from my last teaching job. The last job that I had before I became an entrepreneur,” Broussard told The TRiiBE.

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Broussard was an art teacher at the Avalon campus of the Chicago International Charter School (CICS). Justice of the Pies is less than a mile away at 8655 S. Blackstone Ave. 

“I drove past this office multiple times while working there and would have never even imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be here,” she added. 

Broussard’s father, Stephen J. Broussard, a former defense attorney, introduced her to baking. She grew up watching him bake quiches on Saturday mornings. When he passed away in 2009, she set out to open a bakery in his honor. 

“Justice of the Pies was created with the spirit of my father’s commitment to service to the community, his belief in second chances, and of course, his love of pies. What we will be able to accomplish in our new flagship is a reflection of those values that we are eager to see come to life,” Broussard said in a press release.

Eight years ago, Broussard started Justice of the Pies with $7,000 raised through a Kickstarter campaign that would expand to a nationally distributed brand. She had previously operated a 250-foot commercial kitchen while working to build the Justice of the Pies brand. Her clientele list now includes influential restaurants, celebrities and President Barack Obama. 

“I’m looking forward to not loading my car with baked goods and being able to pull something out of the oven and take it right to the retail counter. A bit of anxiety happens when you’re traveling with food,” she explained. 

Most of all, Broussard is excited to have more space to exercise her creativity. 

The additional space will allow Broussard to expand programming for her nonprofit, the Broussard Justice Foundation, and her signature program, the I KNEAD LOVE Workshop. This one-day workshop provides low-income elementary-aged children with instruction on nutrition, basic cooking skills and encourages creativity in the kitchen. 

Justice of the Pies’ new Avalon Park location will include an indoor and outdoor dining area, production kitchen and teaching kitchen. 

Since its launch in 2014, Justice of the Pies has received funding from several community organizations, such as the Chicago Community Trust and the city of Chicago, for its work reinvesting in communities and creating job opportunities.

The Chicago-based Future Firm designed Justice of the Pies’s new space. 

View of the Justice Of The Pies outdoor location & patio
A preview of the new bakery Justice Of The Pies location in Avalon Park. Photo by Jorge Gera

The Broussard Justice Foundation, which she founded in 2020, focuses on food-related and health-related issues. Its mission is to eradicate food insecurities and decrease health disparities in underserved communities. 

Whether you have a sweet tooth or are looking for something savory, Broussard said customers can expect to see a range of items on the menu, such as her strawberry ginger lemonade, shepherd’s pie, as well as chicken and biscuit pot pie. 

“I’m also excited to share nostalgic treats from my childhood, so it won’t be just pies. There are ginger cardamom lemon bars, lemon pound cake, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and lunchroom cookies,” Broussard said. 

“All of which are a vibe,” she added. 

The TRiiBE spoke to Broussard about her South Side upbringing, her path to entrepreneurship, her experience on Netflix’s “Bake Squad” and what community members can expect from Justice of the Pies in the coming months. 

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

The TRiiBE: I read that your father taught you how to bake. Tell me more about that. 

Maya-Camillie Broussard: Yeah, my dad and aunts and cousins. My dad’s family is from New Iberia and Lake Charles, Louisiana. So everybody in the family can cook each other under the table and bake as well.

I have a sweet tooth, but it’s a very mild one because I eat in moderation. I can’t overdo it. But I do love baked goods. I love a good pound cake. I love brownies straight out of the oven. I love warm cookies. So baking was something I enjoyed doing. 

The first thing I learned to bake was blueberry muffins out of the Jiffy mix box, and I was in the third or fourth grade. So that’s my earliest memory of baking. I remember baking Bisquick drop biscuits. So I learned that at my dad’s house. My parents were divorced. My dad wanted me to be independent. He would say, “‘Okay, you want to make it, show me.’’’

What does it mean to you to be able to have Justice of the Pies located in the same Avalon Park neighborhood that historically has been home to important cultural institutions like Soft Sheen Products and WVON AM? 

Even though I didn’t grow up in this neighborhood, I got my hair done for my eighth-grade graduation on 87th and Jeffery [Boulevard]. We’d go to Checkers while I was in high school, and it was on 87th and Stony [Island Boulevard]. 

This neighborhood is a part of my upbringing and my childhood because everything we did when I was growing up, we did on the South Side. So to be aligned with other businesses such as Soft Soft Sheen and WVON, of course, is an honor. 

It’s not lost on me the history and the reverence that we have for the residents of this neighborhood because people who have come out of this neighborhood have come from humble beginnings and have proven themselves to be capable of immense success.

It’s always somebody out here watering the grass, pruning the bushes. People will come out and talk to us and tell us how they’ve lived here since 1969. So, they take pride in shaping this neighborhood and maintaining its beauty.

How was your experience on “Bake Squad?”

It was a great experience that also led to more visibility. I graduated [from college] with a degree in theater. 

So I was in my element being on the stage, and I run a business. So, I was also in my element of being on my feet for 13 to 16 hours a day. It was interesting to merge the two to try to hurry up to get things done and look cute in the process.

Do you have a favorite memory from “Bake Squad?”

There’s an episode that celebrates Blackness, which I really loved creating for, and I love that I have free rein to create whatever I wanted. 

I wanted to highlight elements of Black culture that people may not necessarily know can be credited or attributed to Black culture, such as door knocker earrings. So I used some door knocker earrings made from chocolate and dusted them with gold edible dust. So that was really cool, and that was my favorite episode to create.

What do you hope to accomplish in this space, and can you tell me more about what people will see when doors open this summer?

We have a teaching kitchen where I can continue the I KNEAD LOVE workshop, my signature workshop. I’ve also formed a nonprofit called the Broussard Justice Foundation, which will allow us to increase our efforts in fighting food insecurities and focus on not just food and wellness but also health and movement as a part of wellness to improve health disparities. 

So the 501(c)(3) is relatively new, but a lot of what I’ve been doing since 2017, with my philanthropy has been pure volunteerism, and it wasn’t really sustainable for the long term. I needed to create something to raise money and make a greater impact. That’s what I’m really looking forward to being able to do in this space: activate our programming and educate people about what we’re trying to do to raise more money.

is a multimedia reporter for The TRiiBE.