Q&A with Carlene O’Garro, Owner of Delectable Desires

The Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program began in 2008.  Our very first loan recipient was Carlene O’Garro, owner of Delectable Desires Pastries. Specializing in custom cakes and French pastries, Carlene has had a lifelong love of creating delicious (and beautiful) pastries. Up until this point, Carlene has been running her business out of her home and baking in the Crop Circle Kitchen Incubator in Jamaica Plain – coincidentally across from the Samuel Adams Brewery.   To celebrate the grand opening of her brick and mortar shop in West Roxbury, MA today, we caught up with her about the challenges and joys of being a small business owner in the food and beverage industry and how the Brewing the American Dream Program has been with her every step of the way.

Delectable Desires

Q: How did your passion for pastries begin?

A: It began when I was a little kid; I baked in the kitchen with my mom on Sundays. When I was about four, my parents bought me an Easy Bake oven so I could bake on my own instead of using the real oven. From that moment, I was hooked! I find baking to be so relaxing, it just comes naturally to me. Cakes are my main passion – I love creating desserts that look fake! When people take a step back and say “is that really a cake?” that is my favorite reaction.

Q: What ultimately made you decide to turn your passion into a business?

A: I didn’t want to go through life working in a 9-5 job, waiting on a promotion, and waiting on someone else to say I was good enough to get the corner office. I wanted to do my own thing and I knew that I could work hard doing something that I love and make it happen.

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Celebrate Small Businesses and Game Day with Boston Lager Cupcakes

We’re sad to see another season of football come to an end, but we’re really excited to enjoy the big game. While it is a big weekend for our hometown team, it’s also a big weekend for Carlene O’Garro, our very first Brewing the American Dream loan recipient and owner of local bakery and cafe Delectable Desires.

Please join us at 1PM on Friday, January 30th for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of her brick and mortar shop located at 1755 Centre Street West Roxbury, MA with some very special guests – our founder and brewer Jim Koch, and Mayor Marty Walsh. Be one of the first 100 people to arrive and you’ll receive a Samuel Adams Boston Lager Cupcake on the house!

Can’t make it to the event? Here’s how you can make them at home:

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Boston Lager’s first flight – and Jim’s first tasting at 35,000 feet

Social1_INSTAGRAMEver since the new Sam Cans hit shelves this spring, we’ve been hearing great feedback and we’ve seen with our own eyes, how excited drinkers are to take the Sam Can with them out into the great outdoors.  Being able to take your beer with you where bottles aren’t allowed is one of the benefits of canning beer.

Now we’re taking Boston Lager to new heights.  Literally.  Be on the lookout for the Sam Can on JetBlue flights! Read More

Supporting Our BostonStrong Community

SAM_BAA_Marathon_Banner_skyline[2]The Boston Marathon has been a cherished tradition in our hometown for more than 100 years. It is a unique athletic event. There is no winning or losing team. It is open to athletes from all countries, backgrounds genders and beliefs. Hundreds of thousands of greater Bostonians line the race route to cheer for the commitment and stamina of all the runners. It is also a celebration of the city of Boston, personal achievement and communal philanthropy.

Samuel Adams is a proud sponsor of the Boston Marathon.  The race is a part of what it means to be a Bostonian and the holiday, Patriot’s Day, is a uniquely Massachusetts holiday which holds special meaning for us as Americans, Massachusetts residents, brewers of Samuel Adams and me personally.  Patriot’s Day commemorates the beginning of the American Revolution led by Samuel Adams our namesake, a defender of liberty and revolutionary leader.  It was also on this holiday in 1985 that I first delivered Samuel Adams to bars throughout Boston from my station wagon.  I have always thought of Patriots Day as our holiday here at The Boston Beer Company. Read More

Samuel Adams in a Can

Sam Can_SketchCraft brewers have debated putting beer in bottles vs. cans for years.  On one side of the aisle, you have purists who think that cans are meant to carry mass domestic beer. On the other side, brewers who see the benefits – a can is lighter weight, blocks out sunlight and enables you to take beer places where glass bottles aren’t allowed.  There’s even a website dedicated to “news and reviews for the canned beer revolution.”

I’m the first one to admit that I’ve been a purist about putting Sam Adams in a can.  I wasn’t convinced that the beer would taste as good as it does from a bottle.  I had flavor concerns based on my own experiences.  Read More

Twist of Fate Brews a Taste of History

In chemistry there’s something called the “collision theory” that is often summarized by the idiom:  “You can’t react, unless you collide.”

Fate has a way of ensuring the right collisions happen to occasionally create something remarkable.  The story of New Albion is proof that random events can collide in such a sequence to spark something incredible. 

In 1976, Jack McAuliffe created New Albion brewing, the first craft brewery to be started from scratch in decades.   Jack, a true do-it-yourself guy, did everything from building the brewery, to brewing the beer, to delivering it to the bars himself.  Unfortunately, he was a man before his time and in 1983, New Albion closed its doors for good.  Read More

Looking Back on Brewlywed at the Brewery

On July 26, 2012, for the first time in our Boston Brewery’s history, Jim Koch was a bridesmaid, a best man and the brewer of Samuel Adams Brewlywed Ale, all in one day!

At Samuel Adams, we shared with drinkers what we know to be the centerpiece of a great wedding… beer. We brewed Samuel Adams Brewlywed Ale, a limited-release Belgian style pale gold ale, and sold it for one day only. Hundreds of drinkers lined up (some at 5am in the morning!) to get their hands on our specialty brew to say “I do.” Jim toasted to everyone in line noting that Brewlywed Ale is “kind of like marriage – a bit spicy, a bit complex, a little bit unexpected and full of surprises.” Read More

Hop Sharing Program

I have been talking to brewers, hop dealers and to the craft brewers who have received loans from our Brewing the American Dream program and,  have been told about the difficulties that many brewers are having getting some of the new and very in demand hops used in IPAs and other hoppy beers.

Hops like Simcoe, Citra and Ahtanum were sold out for the 2011 crop year and are very close to sold out for crop 2012.  Hopefully, the 2012 crop year will be a good one and there will be excess hops above contracts but it is still too early to tell. At Boston Beer, we contract with hop dealers and growers (a practice which we and other members of the Pipeline Committee strongly recommend) and as a result, we believe that our current inventories will safely take us into the 2012 crop. Read More

The Paradox of Popularity…

Unless you’re a brewer you probably missed the “Beer Advocate” thread last week bashing several craft breweries for being over-rated. Seemed to me the criticism was really about popularity not quality. Today’s craft beer lovers are on a hunt to discover the next new thing and, as brewers, most of us are trying to create interesting new beers.  That’s great – we all love making new beers – but that doesn’t mean that an established and successful beer is any less great because it’s been around for a while and has attracted a big following.

My friend Sam Calagione was one of the targets. I’ve known Sam a long time, and I’ve brewed beside him, so I know how innovative he is, and how committed he is to quality brewing. Dogfish Head beers are terrific. Period.  The sales of Dogfish Head have grown because the beer is crazy good.  Period.  No true lover of craft beer should have a problem with his success, in my honest opinion.Someone else dissed him because he had a TV show about his brewing adventures and his brewery.   Hey, Sam happens to be a very interesting and engaging guy.  And he works his ass off.  Because he has the energy and drive to get himself and DFH on the Discovery Channel, he has done all craft brewers a service. He was also promoting all craft beer through his efforts.  I thank him for doing that.  And if that means he was taking craft beer to the masses, more power to him.  Read More