Simcha Clincy: the pursuit of pastries


Simcha Clincy

Clincy’s business name came from her love of bees, and the first thing she baked. Cosmopollen means a single community coming together.

Food is perceived as love. It’s given to show gratification, stimulates joy and its universality connects and grounds us all. 

“Food is the connection to humans,” said Simcha Clincy, ‘25, an eighth-grade baking prodigy, “I have been baking ever since I was young. I did it with my grandparents and then I did it with my mom. I’ve always been baking. I’ve always been pretty good at it.”

It was a big step however, to create a business from it. Back in September, Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year, was coming up and Clincy proceeded to start baking pastries. Her mom posted about it on Facebook and suddenly there were plenty of people asking to buy her pastries. It was then she began the process of selling them.  

She started her business, Cosmopollen, by making her website using Google Sites. The site included a few pages made up of the menu, prices and an about me page. Clincy and her mom then took photographs and found a nice background to present the pastries. 

Now, she has a schedule for her baking days, baking on weekends and Wednesdays, sometimes doing it the night before. The amount of hands-on time she spends on baking depends on what she’s cooking. For cookies, it’s usually 30 minutes but a babka, a sweet bread that has to rise overnight, can take hours. 

In the kitchen, she works at finding the recipes for the sweets.  

“Usually I go online and find [recipes]. I change some ingredients and I like to make tweaks to the recipes to do it to how I need it to be. Some recipes are family recipes that I have,” Clincy said. 

As the owner, Clincy takes care of the finances. She works out how much each baked good cost to make and the amount of profit she will earn, donating ten percent of what she makes.

“That can be very tedious and it can take a while just because there are so many ingredients. You have to figure out where you are buying an ingredient. How much you’re going to buy at a time,” Clincy said.  

The math portion isn’t a burden to her and the finances don’t make the baking portion any less enjoyable.

Clincy’s greatest fear is that people think it’s weird and wonder why she does it. 

“I have anxiety and I have a lot of thoughts in my head about what people think about me. So with the business, it’s a lot harder as you’re actively putting yourself out there for people to see you,” Clincy said.  

Baking helps with her anxiety and seeing the feedback that people give motivates her to continue on.

“Baking is a coping skill for me, something different about baking than cooking is preciseness, you put the right ingredients in, and you get what you want. It’s kind of nice as long as you follow the directions perfectly you can make whatever you want and it’ll come out just how you want it.  It’s really calming to just do something that you know what the outcome is going to be,” she said.

I have anxiety and I have a lot of thoughts in my head about what people think about me. So with the business, it’s a lot harder as you’re actively putting yourself out there for people to see you”

— Simcha Clincy

Her current struggle is the occasional change in school schedule from holidays or for convenience. It messes with her baking schedule, especially because she does delivery. In her delivery process, people have the option of picking up the pastries at her house, picking the goods up from school, meeting up if they’re near the same area and drop-offs. 

“The best part about it is the timing. I sometimes can get anxious or nervous about walking it out to someone and having a quick conversation. It’s nice to deliver it to someone. It’s simple as you know when it’s ready and you can just give it to them,” Clincy said.

Sometimes, people from out of state do deliveries and she still delivers it. For example, recently one of her mom’s friends made a big order for 10 people. 

“That was really fun because somebody picked me to send tons of things to people,” Clincy said.

Baking is fun but donations are a big motivation. She originally used some of the money for the senate race, raising 300 dollars for her candidates. Before her business, she didn’t have anything she could do to advocate for the causes she believed in. She didn’t have any money to spend and was worried about the health risk of going out to volunteer. All of this changed when she created her business. 

“I was thinking about the outcome of the senate. I actually helped with that,” Clincy said. 

When the senate race was over she still wanted to donate but didn’t know where she should. After watching the movie Just Mercy, a film created by the Equal Justice initiative where Bryan Stevens, the protagonist lawyer, fights for a wrongly accused Black man put on death row, she knew she wanted to support this organization. The Equal Justice Initiative works to end mass incarceration and unbridled punishment specifically with marginalized communities, as well as legal representation and education in film. She fights for racial justice because of the effects it has and will continue to have on her family. Her dad grew up at the height of the civil rights movement.  

“[The Civil Rights movement] wasn’t that long ago. It definitely has an effect on us today,” Clincy said. 

The proceeds from her food represent a better world and her politics speak for the values of her business. Presently, her business is successful with a few orders a week. 

“I think right now it could be bigger,” Clincy says. 

She imagines expanding her business out onto different social media platforms and organizing a brick and mortar store for which people can come together, unified through food.