Woe betide the household where the crush of seasonal events has frustrated the process of baking. And what about the birthday boy or girl of any age whose important day falls over the holidays?
Then, a need for centerpieces, holiday and otherwise, can arise--or, simply, the times when small purchases can make a person smile.
Alyssa’s Cakery on Center Street has the solution to a bevy of demands that arise at this or any other time of year. The Cakery is a new bakery in town, and it’s proving a popular destination. Cupcakes, customized cakes, cake “pops,” cake towers—all are available inside the pale pink shop.
“I get to the bakery around 8 a.m.,” said owner Alyssa Porto, who, daily, bakes each of the items she sells in her shop. She said she bakes roughly 200 cupcakes on the Tuesdays through Saturdays her shop is open, offering five gourmet flavours such as coconut cloud and five classic flavours each day. From Wednesday to the weekend, she said she has
remained at the shop until midnight, working on the customized cakes she also creates.
And then there are her cake “pops”—a piece of cake covered in chocolate and sold on a stick that Porto describes as “delicious bits of yummies.” “I’m really the only one who’s offering them around here,” Porto said. A well-known product in California, according to Porto, she has found them especially popular in the Wallingford area as wedding favors.
Porto said she and her mother Karen Hutchinson always enjoyed working together. She said her mother, who owns an insurance company, always prepared pies, cakes and holiday cookies and that both had recipes from her grandmother. After Porto had graduated from Southern
Connecticut State College with a degree in psychology and had worked as a teller at Wells Fargo Bank, she said the pair asked each other, “What can we do?”
The duo began baking, with cake decorating in edible fondant as Porto's forte. She said their baking proved so popular with friends and families that people asked, “’Why don’t you open a shop?’”
The Cakery opened April 19.
To date, Porto said the holidays have proved to be the busiest time of her year.
“It’s been amazing,” said Porto of the volume of her business, which she said is now divided equally between her cupcakes and her customized cakes. For those cakes, she said clients will show up with pictures of images they would like her to recreate.
“So far, so good,” she said of that dimension of her business.
She participates in what has become, nationally, a cupcake craze in part because some clients find their diet can accommodate a cupcake—Porto recommends the carrot cake— but also because she likes to see people every day.
“I’m a people person. I’m really a people person,” she said. Porto said her clients find it nice to come in and grab one cupcake or a cluster for dessert after dinner or for a party. Her clients come not only from Wallingford
but also from surrounding towns, and, she said, their age range is wide.
Porto said she receives questions as to when she’s going to appear on the Food Network television show, “Cupcake Wars.” To that, Porto answers
that she is still “getting organized and getting her feet on the ground,” but
she also denied any serious interest in appearing on the show.
“It’s really everyone who comes in who asks if I’m going to be on it,” she said.
Alyssa’s Cakery offers free delivery within Wallingford with a minimum purchase, and the Cakery will deliver for a small charge outside Wallingford. Presently, she is offering Christmas specials such as cupcakes with holiday frostings in her shop. Images of many of her offerings are available on her website or Facebook page. The Cakery is at 565 Center St.