After baking and selling her own cakes, cookies and cupcakes from her home for 13 years, the Sault’s Jeannette Orazietti will be transforming her home-based Jeannette’s Custom Cakes into a downtown bakery known as Sugar.
Orazietti - who co-owns Jeannette’s Custom Cakes with husband Anthony - hopes to open Sugar, located at 765 Queen St. E., Suite 203, by Feb. 1.
“I never expected to own my own business or jump into any kind of culinary career,” Orazietti told SooToday.
Orazietti studied graphic design at Sault College and later worked in that field but eventually took some time off and decided her next move.
“I took a year and taught myself how to decorate cakes. The baking came after that. We tested recipes for a couple of years and finally found some things that worked for us and expanded from there.”
“The transition from graphic design, from paper to cake, came really naturally. There’s an eye for it.”
Jeannette’s Custom Cakes grew quickly: the business moved from her kitchen table to a larger kitchen when she and her husband moved to another house.
Jeannette and Anthony competed on a cake reality show on TV in 2011, later accepting the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Orazietti opened up a small pop-up space for Jeannette’s Custom Cakes within the Creative Nest Studio on March Street for four months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“In those four months, I learned that’s what I wanted to do, is have a space. I still baked everything at home, decorated everything at home, and it was all certified by Algoma Public Health; then, I brought it to that location and sold it in a market-type situation. We decided that’s the piece that was missing,” Orazietti said.
“I was working at home for 13 years, and I was ready to work somewhere that’s not at home and get out of the house.”
“After the pandemic hit, the business shifted to an online bakery where we sold all of our products and had our clients pick up their sweets weekly. We knew it would be temporary as the business was never built to be an online store. Little did we know it was going to grow so much through those two years. We decided to take time in the pandemic to refocus and design the space we are currently in the process of opening. We opened Sugar in order to have the ability to serve more of our clients without the need of placing a custom order through Jeannette’s Custom Cakes, which usually needs to be booked a few months in advance.”
“Sugar will be providing dessert cakes, cupcakes, cake jars and more along with our sugar cookies. Having the physical location will allow our clients the ability to come into the store and purchase our sweets for that day. Our online system, once we have it up and running again, will allow those that prefer to order online the ability to do so then simply pick up in store.”
Orazietti said she’ll be returning to the wedding cake scene this year.
“I decided to take a few years off from doing them to focus on my family. But I knew that once I had a physical location, I would be doing them again. Whether a bride wants a beautiful five-tier wedding cake or one that looks like a giant hamburger, we’re here for it.”
Including Orazietti herself, Sugar will have two full-time and two part-time employees, open from noon to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
A mini-cafe will operate within Sugar.
“My city is very important to me. I was born and raised here, educated here and built my business around my family, which my husband and I have decided to raise here. Anthony and I have great plans for what this expansion means for this business. We’ve been doing this for a long time and are proud to be able to finally expand out of our home and into this great community,” Orazietti said.
“Just being able to be out in public will be a huge jump for us. It’s a wonderful location. It’s in a great spot,” said Orazietti, adding she has received a big welcome from her business neighbours and the Downtown Association.