You recently opened the Sweet Shoppe. What inspired that?
About five years ago I was baking cakes for friends and family on a regular basis. I realized how much I enjoyed it and dreamed of opening a shop someday. I decided to go to pastry school to get a better understanding of all things pastry. Once I finished my associate degree in pastry arts at Bristol Community College, I really started thinking about what kind of shop I wanted to open. I worked a season at Blackstone Caterers and as things slowed down in the fall, I started planning.
Have you always loved baking?
Actually, I have not. I was never much of a chef until I had a family and had to cook out of necessity. I baked my son’s first birthday cake and I was hooked. My hobby grew from there.
Are your pastries made fresh daily?
If I could try only one of your pastries, which would you recommend?
For the peanut butter lover, I recommend the Peanut Butter Dream Cupcake. It is a chocolate cupcake filled with a peanut butter mousse, topped with vanilla bean buttercream and Reese’s crumbles.
How many cupcake flavors do you offer?
On a daily basis we offer eight different varieties. We also make a special cupcake every week.
Do you offer dietary alternatives, such as vegan or gluten-free?
We do offer gluten-free products by special order. I have a gluten intolerance so I’ve had to learn to adapt my recipes for my own personal needs. We can make gluten-free cakes, cupcakes, cookies, muffins and cheesecakes.
How difficult is it to design and build a cake?
This depends on the cake. I have done simple cakes for bridal showers: clean and elegant with just some simple flowers for detail. I have also done a Yankees-themed wedding cake in which the base tier was the Yankees Stadium faade. This cake took a lot of research and careful planning to be sure I got it just right for the couple on their important day.
Do any cakes stand out as the most memorable?
One of my most memorable cakes was one I made for my godson. It was a cake carved in the shape of a dragon by the name of Toothless from the Disney movie How to Train Your Dragon. This was one that took a lot of planning. It needed a board with a special support built in and a handmade figurine of Hiccup, who rode Toothless. He loved it.
How exciting is it to bake for a living?
It really is such a fun profession. I love baking and the creativity of cake decorating. I also enjoy seeing people’s reaction when they’re picking up a custom cake or leaving with their dozen cupcakes.