My two most treasured Christmas presents from my childhood were a set of art supplies and an easy bake oven. I adored them! I would draw for hours on end & paint hundreds of pictures using the paints. I just loved any activity I could make a mess with. My mom & I would create tasty treats with the easy bake oven. And, because it was an activity I could make a mess with at the same time, it was an instant hit. From that young age I knew that I wanted to be an artist. I decided that sugar would be my medium.
The first real job I had was at a Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Shop. It was the greatest high school job anyone could have imagined. This was where I started to learn how to decorate cakes. After the shop closed, I started working at David’s Restaurant in Stamford, Connecticut. I quickly grew fond of the restaurant life. This inspired me to study for five & a half years at Johnson & Wales University where I received a Bachelor of Arts in Culinary and a Bachelor of Arts in Pastry.
I worked all through college at various shops and restaurants throughout Rhode Island and Connecticut. Among those were Scialo Brother’s Bakery on Federal Hill, three of Walter Potenza’s restaurants (La Locanda Del Coccio, A Pranzo, and The Sunflower Cafe), The Cobb’s Mill Inn in Weston, Connecticut, and finally The Parkside Bistro on South Main Street in Providence. I fined tuned my skills in each of them.
I finally decided to continue my education in Europe. I left for Luzern, Switzerland to study chocolates and pastry arts at Bachmann Confiserie. When I returned from Switzerland, I was hired as the Executive Pastry Chef for The Gatehouse Restaurant, a four star restaurant and catering company based in Rhode Island.
Once I was married and started a family, I left the restaurant and catering life and decided to follow my dreams of working for myself while making my family my priority. In 2000, I decided to fulfill my dream of running and owning my own business. What started as Rachel’s Pastries, evolved into Rachel’s Sugar Shop, in 2015 and I opened my own storefront. I specialized in unusual requests. I sculpted exquisite cakes, designed custom cookies, and created delicious pastries. I searched far and wide for the best ingredients for my quality products. Sugar really was my passion. For 4 years, Rachel’s Sugar Shop was an integral part of the Cranston community. Making *All Things Sweet* for old friends and new friends that I made through the shop. Giving back to that community by donating to school, scouting, charitable, and gubernatorial events, to name a few.
In January of 2019, I decided to close my store front to spend more time with my family. It was a wonderful run. I have no regrets because it brought me closer to a lot of wonderful people and I will never wonder, “What if…” For now, I’m cherishing this time with my family. Thank you for the many years of love and support. You’ll never know how much it has meant to me. Who knows what’s next. But when I figure it out, I’ll be sure to let you know.