When you walk into this cake boutique, you are immediately taken by its charm. The building was built in the late 1800's, has the original tin ceiling and the antique countertop is bursting with dreamy-looking treats. There are handmade truffles, cookies, brownies and the Cupcake of the Week just to name a few. This week's cupcake has a Superbowl flair: a golden beer cupcake topped with salted caramel buttercream and crushed pretzels.
"I have regular customers who come in every week for a blondie brownie," said Kristen Livoti, owner and chef. BellaCakes will create a cake any way a customer desires and for any occasion whether it's a wedding, birthday, shower, etc. They also make pies and hold gingerbread-making classes around the holidays.
"We're one of the few bakeries that carve our cakes into shapes rather than just decorate the top. My employees are not only bakers, but they have extra skill in art and design so they can do this," Livoti said, "There's not a lot of excitement around here, like the arguments they have on Cake Boss or anything!"
Livoti explains that BellaCakes is one of only two nut-free bakeries in the state of Massachusetts. Tailoring the ingredients to accommodate customers who are vegan or need to consume dairy-free or gluten-free baked goods is one of the ways BellaCakes customizes products to its clients. Having studied in Scotland at the Edinburgh School of Food and Wine, shortbread is a specialty of Livoti's, whose West Main Street shop has been open for four years.
After graduating with distinction from the school and before starting her current business, she had been pursuing other interests including managing a law firm and owning two restaurants. However, one day a friend asked her why she hadn't baked in so long. Livoti's next step was opening BellaCakes, named after her daughter, Bella, which means "beautiful" in Italian.
The shop has three employees, Livoti and two colleagues, Michelle McElroy and Heather Cerulli.
"I baked cakes at my home before I was hired here," McElroy says as she pours pumpkin cake batter into a pan, "What's amazing is that everything comes out of that one oven, right there. We have pans of all sizes, 18 inches being our largest."
"We have specialty flavors. Some are seasonal, like the fig filling," Livoti said, "We make a S'Mores cupcake which is a graham cracker cake with homemade marshmallows on top."
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