Listening to someone talk about something they are truly passionate about is a joy. Sisters Barbara Accogli and Monja Chiaravalloti (@CakeStarGirlz on Twitter) recently hosted a grand media preview opening of their CakeStar Sweet Boutique – a place where their sweet dreams really have come true – and even after 5 minutes’ listening to them talk, their passion for what they do is obvious, infectious, even!
I entered the tiny cake store come studio situated in a nondescript strip of Lakeshore Boulevard in Etobicoke in awe of the fabulous creations in the window and on display, yet I left feeling totally confident about filling cannoli and dipping cake balls (not as easy as it looks!). With Barb standing at your side offering words of encouragement and Monja close-by decorating a multi-layer cake with the most intricate piping you have ever seen, it was easy to get wrapped up in their magical word of frosting and cake. The mysteries of fondant, icing and decorating all of a sudden seem much more do-able in CakeStar land
Alongside the hands-on activities, we ogled the gorgeous cupcakes – so many flavours – what to choose?
Barb and Monja’s road to success started early – mentored by their father Nicola, an Italian master baker at the family bakery, the sisters who baked together when they were young chose to stick together later in life, and have worked to make their name creating stunning “Edible Art” around the Greater Toronto Area. Their cake creations have been commissioned by the CBC, CP24, The Honda Indy, and the new USA Network comedy-drama TV series “Suits”. This summer, the sisters also worked with Toronto-area bakers at The Harbourfront Centre to break the World Guinness Record for World’s “Most Layered Cake.” And they did it!
Monja (Cake Artist/ Designer – above) was born and raised in Toronto, where she spent much of her childhood in the family bakery. She worked in a variety of careers before coming full circle later in life helping out at her family’s bakery where she discovered the magic of cake art. Being self taught she has learned primarily by trial and error, punctuated with a few hands-on courses. With her sister Barbara, she will continue the family business with a focus on the modern art of today’s cakes.
Barbara (the “Edible Artist”) was born in Rome and raised in Toronto, Canada. She practically lived in the family bakery for 26 years, where she played in her creative sandbox, baking and learning. In 2011, her dream has came true with the opening of the CakeStar Sweet Boutique. Barbara also co-owns The Big Ragu in Toronto, with her husband, Carmine. She is an entrepreneur, designer, blogger, developer, baker and overall executor – and she’s ready to take on anything life throws at her, one cake at a time.
CakeStar Sweet Boutique is a reflection of both Barb and Monja’s enthusiasm and passion, offering cupcakes, cake balls and cannoli for purchase and special order (check out their array of creative flavours!), as well as classes for everyone from beginners and kids to more ambitious bakers and decorators. If you have a sweet tooth for either eating or decorating cakes, CakeStar is worth the trip from downtown. Go on, go there. Eat a cupcake. Or two
CakeStar Sweet Boutique
3431 Lakeshore Blvd (at Kipling)
Etobicoke, Ontario, M8W 1N2
Thanks to Mary Luz and Mario of Sizzling Communications for the invite!
* Did you enter my “Family Favourites: Healthy meals for those who matter most” book giveaway yet? (US/ Canadian residents only, sorry!). Contest closes today, Sunday October 2nd at 6pm EST – enter here.