Jennifer Appel began her professional career as a clinical psychologist. Though geared toward academics, Jennifer also had culinary arts in her blood. She fondly remembers her mother and grandmothers creating a variety of masterpieces in the family's kitchen. At the end of a long workday, Jennifer would come home and unwind by cooking, and by baking special desserts. Before long, her hobby became her passion. Intrigued by the food industry, Jennifer decided to switch careers and go full-time into the bakery business. In July 1996, she opened Magnolia Bakery in New York City's Greenwich Village, where she and her business partner sold cookies, pies, mini-cheesecakes and other delectable treats.