Maya-Camille Brousard is the owner of Justice of The Pies; an organization started in memory of her late father, who was a criminal defense attorney that had a passion for baking. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit hard for many industries, including hospitality, Maya decided to mobilize and give back to those on the front lines. On April 5th, she began to deliver meals to the staff that works at Stroger Hospital, providing what she calls appreciation for those risking their lives on the front lines.
Kia Smith (KS): What exactly made you pick Stroger Hospital versus other ones in the city?
Maya-Camille (MC): Stroger Hospital is the largest hospital in Chicago that sees the most patients who do not have insurance and service a lot of patients who have endured trauma. Since their capacity is so large, that means that they are seeing the most significant number of patients infected with the virus.
KS: Do you plan to mobilize to other hospitals around the city? Or would you like to keep it at Stroger?
MC: I’d like to keep it at Stroger. My kitchen at The Hatchery is right next door, and as I said, Stroger has the highest volume of patients that they see without insurance.
KS: What made you choose Sunday as a day for delivery?
MC: Sundays are the days that families usually come together and share meals. Many medical professionals are going without seeing their families for long periods due to the virus. I wanted to give them a sense of normalcy.
KS: Based on how much has been donated, how many meals are you making? How many would you like to make?
MC: I would like to make and serve 100 meals.
KS: What is on the menu for the staff?
MC: Chicken and biscuit pot pie, shepherd’s pie, Seafood pot pie, and slices of sweet pie. The menu may change from week to week.
KS: What are you most fearful of concerning this pandemic?
MC: I’m most fearful of the hospitality industry going out of business. It makes me wonder what’s next and how can I pivot? I have to think about how I can protect my employees and myself in the future.
KS: What are you most hopeful for during and after this pandemic? What keeps you sane?
MC: What keeps me hopeful is the innovation that could take place. You can persevere and push through; there is always something better that’s on the other side. What helps me preserve my sanity is innovation. I get on Instagram live to test recipes. I now have time for ideation and truly exploring, something I didn’t have time to do before because I was always in the office.
KS: Last question before we go, but what impact do you hope your act of kindness will have on people?
MC: I want to show my appreciation to those who risk their lives every day being on the front lines. This pandemic has left many of us feeling uncertain, so I hope to restore a sense of normalcy and let them know they are appreciated.
For more information on how you can donate, visit justiceofthepies.com, heycutiepies.com and follow the journey on Instagram @JusticeOfThePies