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17
December
2004

About Lovescool

It just so happens…

Kelli Bernard and Andrew Lin met while getting their Masters in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University. Before then, and unbeknownst to each other, they both grew up in sunny Southern California. After Carnegie Mellon, hardened by the cold winters of Pittsburgh, they moved to New York City, a puddle-jump away.

Andrew and Kelli took jobs as interaction designers, and remained in the corporate world for several years before deciding to pursue their personal passions. To learn more about dessert, Kelli began apprenticing at a local cake studio, and writing for Chocolatier magazine. In 2005, she started Amai Tea & Bake House, a retail and wholesale bakery specializing in sweets that pair with tea. Andrew soon joined in on the adventure, lending his design talents to the baking world as the Creative Director of Amai. The shop won the hearts of many New York City residents, along with awards like Best New Tea House from Time Out New York.

After a wonderful experience of serving locals green tea cookies, freshly made croissants and the best tea and coffee from around the world, Kelli and Andrew decided to close Amai in 2009. They finally got married, took some time for themselves again, and moved back to their warm, sunny home of California.

So let it be known…

Kelli’s passion for baking most probably arose from her hereditary love of chocolate (odds are she gets it from her mother Debbie). She grew up in a house where cookies were fair game for breakfast, and there was always a freshly baked dessert waiting to be eaten.

Andrew, on the other hand, can be characterized as an “eats to live” (as opposed to “lives to eat”; there is a difference) kind of guy. However, he is known to enjoy a hefty slice of pecan pie when it’s around.

You are probably wondering…

So how does this all come together? What does Human-Computer Interaction have to do with chocolate and pecan pie? Nothing, really. Well maybe a little, but perhaps more explanation on that another time.

The truth is…

Both Kelli and Andrew always had a dream of opening up a bakery (a restaurant in Andrew’s case, but close enough). They are proud of Amai, and the people they met along with way.

Lovescool was started as a documentation of a journey to discover what sweet things are out there, why people love them so much, and what it takes to start something new. That journey continues today, as Andrew and Kelli take their entrepreneurial experience and continued love of sweets to the West Coast.

The truth still remains that the world would be a lot better if it was just a touch sweeter.



23 COMMENTS SO FAR...

Chad says on February 6th, 2005 at 10:01 pm:

What wonderful subject matter, and such a great design.

Andrew says on February 9th, 2005 at 10:51 am:

Thanks Chad! It is such a great surprise to hear from you. It’s been a long time.

Kristin says on February 14th, 2005 at 7:47 pm:

I love the Lovescool logo! Nice job, keep up the good work. Happy Valentine’s Day! Kristin

Artsy Fartsy Ugly Chick says on February 17th, 2005 at 10:33 am:

I agree with Kristin – the Lovescool.com logo is DA BOMB! Wow! You guys rock! Post pictures of yourselves – we’d all like to see the happy couple :)

Nichelle says on March 2nd, 2005 at 12:52 pm:

We love dessert, too. Check out our sweet site, Cupcakes Take The Cake.

debbie says on March 2nd, 2005 at 1:45 pm:

Just found you guys via MUG–what a great site! I plan to spend as much as possible of the afternoon trolling through all your past posts…

alizinha says on March 2nd, 2005 at 8:42 pm:

yeah, found you through MUG this morning, and I must say your site is BEAUTIFUL (and great content as well).

Kelli says on March 3rd, 2005 at 12:54 am:

Thank you Nichell and Alizinha! I love cupcakes too (especially the red velvet from Buttercup) and can’t wait to check out your blog.

J.T. says on March 6th, 2005 at 3:03 pm:

I was looking for other sweet blogs and ran across yours. Very nice indeed. I’m a pastry student who’s halfway through school so my life is all about pastry.

Keep up the good work and best wishes.

becky says on June 1st, 2005 at 3:21 pm:

i randomly came across your site.. really great.. i love baking desserts for people when they’re least expecting it because it makes them so happy.

and that’s fantastic that y’all met at carnegie mellon! i graduated from there with a degree in communication design in 2004.. and the last 2 guys i dated were hci.. small world :)

Molly Ringwald says on June 21st, 2005 at 10:01 pm:

Wow! Carnegie Mellon Class of 1999. Irish-Catholic and my husband is Chinese. We have 3 kids and just LOOOOOOVE dessert! He’s a urologist and I’m an accountant.

lara says on June 28th, 2005 at 2:26 pm:

great site, and colorful descriptive reviews. if you’re in miami…send an e-mail and i’ll help you find some spots there.

chandra says on July 15th, 2005 at 11:23 am:

hey there! i, like the others, love the site and the logo. it is such a pretty site!i care deeply about desserts and see the need to learn how to make them properly so my daughter will have sweet memories growing up of the kitchen and mommy in it! take a look at my blog… documenting my attempt to learn desserts! http://lick-the-spoon.blogspot.com
cheers!
C

Jeff says on October 11th, 2005 at 2:07 am:

I love the tall, proud Kitchen Aid on the masthead. I think we all worship our mixers, for without it baking wouldn’t be as much fun.

Kelli says on October 13th, 2005 at 10:36 pm:

Thanks Jeff. That’s really my mixer in the photo, and it certainly gets good use!

Cynthia says on November 5th, 2005 at 11:07 pm:

I love your website! I am an American of Irish decent and my husband is Japanese. He’s doing computer programming with financial data and I’m a civil rights paralegal. We love to cook! Terrific website!

Nancy Dew says on December 23rd, 2005 at 7:50 pm:

Hi! Irish-American and husband is Chinese. I’m an architect and he’s a vascular surgeon. We have 2 kids and we all just absolutely love dessert This is our favorite site in the whole wide world (www…:)

Keep up the awesome work!!!!

KB says on July 21st, 2006 at 11:55 am:

you may have already posted about this or it may be too exhausting to go into, but what type of challenges did you face starting your bakery. i’m doing farmers markets right now as a “test kitchen.” just to see if i want to bake full-time (i’m a designer:print and web: at the moment). i’d like to do wholesale baking as oppossed to just retail. though i really like farmers markets. the professionals in my area (dc, no. va) have been helpful, but also doubtful. i get the “it is really hard, competitive and you wont make any money and will probably fail” spill. did you get any of that? what type of challenges did you face in the beginning? any words of wisdom/encouragement/business advice would be helpful.

Rich Gunther says on December 11th, 2006 at 9:18 pm:

Congrats, guys…looks like things are going really well with Amai! I’m going to place an order for Michelle and my mother-in-law, who are feisty critics. I’m sure they’ll love them.

We had a little girl a month ago, by the way: Lindsey Bryn, 7 lbs, 4 oz! Hope you guys are great.

Cheers!
Rich

Joanna says on February 10th, 2008 at 7:40 am:

I just went to Amai at a friend’s suggestion and adored the place. Now as I read how it came to be, I’m inspired! I’m studying to be a social worker and my boyfriend is in fashion but he’s wanted to own a restaurant and I love baking and want a cafe. It always seems like outrageously wishful thinking, but hearing your story reminds me that the unexpected can be possible. Best wishes to you moving forward!

Brandon Weber says on March 23rd, 2010 at 12:37 am:

Andrew!

I got a bit of nostalgia and looked you up. Just checking in to see how you’re doing.

I hope all is well in San Fran. I’ll drop you a line when I’m down there next.

PS I love watching the paths that we all follow. not a straight line in the bunch :)

dana says on June 21st, 2010 at 2:02 am:

I randomly started reading this blog when I accidentally found this site looking for information about another pastry shop.

And, I’ve only read so many posts, but Kelli and Andrew got married to each other? From what I read, it just seemed like they were friends and fellow bloggers, where Andrew would pitch in to help his friend.

Kelli says on June 21st, 2010 at 9:07 am:

Dana – Andrew and I were dating when this blog started in 2005, and he helped me put it together. We got married in 2009 after writing this blog and building our business together. Now we’re taking a little break from the industry to focus on ourselves- but I will always love dessert and will be back to it at some point soon!



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RECOMMENDED READS
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ABOUT LOVESCOOL

Lovescool is the documentation of a journey to discover what sweet things are out there, why people love them so much, and perhaps what it takes to start something new.

Read more about us...


AMAI TEA & BAKE HOUSE

An interest, that turned into a blog, that turned into a career. Kelli Bernard is now the owner and baker of Amai Tea & Bake House.

Find out more...

ARCHIVES

Blog posts are dropped into categories like cookies on a cookie-sheet.

Baking Equipment (5)
Classes (11)
Events (43)
General (160)
Recipes (40)
Resources (9)
Sweet Places (51)

More...

But I think we are all searching for that special something.

 

CONTACT KELLI

Whether you are just saying hello or wish to ask a question, feel free to send me a sweet note anytime.

E-mail me.


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