From left, Michelle Cavallo and her mother Victoria Cavallo hold peanut butter and triple chocolate cupcakes and peanut butter blossoms inside their Simply Sweet Bakeshop & Cafe on Queen Street Thursday morning. The shop, located on 853 Queen St., recently opened in May. | (Farrah Duffany/ Record-Journal staff)
August 18, 2013 11:51AM
By Farrah Duffany
SOUTHINGTON — When the holidays came around it was the best time for Victoria Cavallo. She remembers baking cookies, cupcakes and other desserts with her grandmother in Italy as a child. When the family moved to the United States and Cavallo had children, her daughter, Michelle Cavallo, inherited that same passion for baking.
After Michelle Cavallo graduated from Lincoln Technical Institute for baking in 2011, the mother-daughter duo from Watertown decided it was time to finally open a shop to call their own. After about six months of searching, they opened Simply Sweet Bakeshop & Café in May in the T.J. Maxx plaza at 853 Queen St.
“I wanted to open something, but I was always afraid to on my own,” Victoria Cavallo said. “And after my daughter went to school, she said, ‘mom, I’d like to do something,’ I said ‘why don’t we just do it together?’ And I enjoy baking and she loves it too so we said, why not?”
“My mom was always baking at home, like every day,” Michelle Cavallo said. “And I always liked doing it as a hobby and I loved sweets and desserts.”
On the window of the storefront are large images of cupcakes, cannolis and sandwiches. Walk into the bakery and you are greeted with a handful of tables and chairs. The space, redolent of fresh treats baking in the oven, is equipped with two red armchairs surrounding a coffee table and of course large glass cases full with trays of mini cheesecakes, triple chocolate cupcakes and more.
The shop sells an assortment of cupcakes regular and jumbo size, cookies, custom cakes and sandwiches. Popular sandwiches include the Italian combo and there is an option to create your own sandwich or panini as well.
Simply Sweets is located at the former Hush Clothing Store next to Gobi Mongolian Grill. Sara Carrier, an employee at Simply Sweets, said a lot of people haven’t noticed they’ve opened yet.
“We’re like the hidden gem in Southington,” Carrier said.
In the middle of a conversation, Victoria Cavallo got up to check on the 40 red velvet cupcakes she had baking in the oven. Some mornings Victoria and Michelle Cavallo get to the bakery shop at 5 a.m. to prepare the sweets for the day. They often bake during the day as well.
They said they enjoy working together and often split the duties. Victoria Cavallo often bakes while Michelle Cavallo decorates the cupcakes. Sometimes the roles switch back and forth; they said they’re flexible with working together.
“We’d like for it to be a success,” Victoria Cavallo said. “We work very hard from early morning to the evening so we want the business to be a success for us because this is Michelle’s future.”