[June] I first became a fan of Sweetie Pies Bakery in Napa over 10 years ago when they made my personal wedding cake and I'm so pleased that they have continued to bring joy to thousands since that date!
It brings me great pleasure to introduce you to Toni Chiappetta, the founder/owner of Sweetie Pies.
How did Sweetie Pies come to be?
Toni had spent her life around food, starting when she was a child with her parents running a Luncheonette on the East Coast and her mom catering from the family home. So when Toni was abruptly fired from her Napa restaurant job in 1994 (her first and only firing she'd like to add) she knew she had to make a change. Toni started using her free time to make brownies which she sold to the local Napa Roasting Co. and before long her small apartment sized kitchen couldn't handle the large orders, and Sweetie Pies was born.
What treats are some of your fan favorites?
The giant Anzac Cookie is always a favorite, the Whoopie Pies bring a smile to all ages, the Yodels (a giant ho-ho looking sweet) gets a lot of attention and of course the devine Summer Berry Cake is a favorite flavor for brides.
What makes Sweetie Pies so special?
For starters, all of the pastries and sweets are made from scratch; no mixes! Secondly, Toni kept true to her roots by keeping the bakery more "home-style" so customers feel a sense of home rather than a fancy & fussy vibe. Her personable baking style goes beyond the sugary treats all the way into her cafe dining room with eclectic mismatched antiques, large family style tables and whimsical artwork. And lastly it is a testament to Toni and her business because she still has a core of employees that have stuck by her side for 10-15 years! She humbly accounts it to luck (ok we'll give it 10% luck) but I see 90% of the credit going to her and her sense of family.
When did you move to your charming location, the Historic Mill District in Napa?
As business continued to boom and space became more cramped, a new opportunity to move to The Hatt Building on the Napa River presented itself and even though it's now very sheik to be a part of the Mill District, it was not as...polished... when she took the leap of faith to move there in 2000. What is now a spic-n-span kitchen was a dirt pit that needed massive renovating and the side room that now serves as storage and offices used to be an outdoor space which was a temporary makeshift place for mixing ingredients and storing flour.
What trends are you seeing in the wedding world?
- Cakes with more detail, many times matching the same details of the bride's wedding dress.
- Still loves topsy-turvy styles especially for quinceaneras and birthdays!
- Grooms cakes allow for alot of fun customization.
- Sculpted cakes are always entertaining; a craps table for a 70th bday, a turntable for disc jockey and a wine bottle laying on its side in a wood crate.
In closing...Not only can you completely appease your sweet tooth at Sweetie Pies, they are also open for (light) breakfast, lunch and coffee drinks. And when Toni isn't busy in the kitchen she's saying yes to many charitable requests; organizations such as Susan G. Komen, Relay for Life, Grad Night, Napa Valley Education and frankly the list is long... she's very committed to giving back to the same community that has supported her for more than 15 years.
And lastly, no good story would be complete without taste-testing so here we are, me and The Mr., shamelessly eating our treats straight out of the bag in the kitchen, not even bothering for formalities such as dishes or chairs.