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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Caputo Brother’s Creamery: A Q&A with the 2014 Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Competition Winners

While on their honeymoon, David and Rynn Caputo made a big decision; they would quit their Fortune 500-company jobs and enroll in culinary school in Calabria, Italy – they haven’t looked back since! Based in Spring Grove, PA, Caputo Brothers Creamery (named for their two young sons) makes the country’s only fermented cheese curds that can be stretched into fresh mozzarella cheeses, providing a high quality cheese product for cheese lovers and restaurants around the country.

The Caputos competed in (and won) our 2014  Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Competition, which earned them a $10,000 business grant and extended business coaching and mentoring from our team. We had a chance to chat with Rynn about their cheese and how Brewing the American Dream is helping their growing business.

caputo bros

Q: How did you and your husband get into cheese making?

A: Cheese making really found us. We had gone to culinary school in Italy and as part of our program, we spent time making cheese. At that point we weren’t like, “oh yeah this is what we’re going to do” – but basically, when we came back to the states, we couldn’t find the type of mozzarella that we had in Italy.  We started out of pure necessity – to have it at home for ourselves. We got a great response from our friends, so we started researching artisan cheese making and worked with master cheese makers in Italy to bring it to the states.

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Celebrate National Pizza Week and Football Playoffs with New England Clam Pizza

What could be better than football playoff season? The answer is simple: football playoffs, a cold Boston Lager, AND National Pizza Week.

We worked with pizza expert Mark Bello from www.pizzaschool.com to develop a pizza recipe that is perfect for rooting for our home team: New England Clam Pizza, made with Boston Lager infused pizza dough!

NE PIZZA

This pizza not only ties to our roots here in New England, but it pairs perfectly with Boston Lager. Boston Lager’s doughy notes from the malt complement the rich and creamy sweet notes from the mozzarella and the ricotta cheese and slightly sweet character from the clams. The pie’s slightly savory oregano flavor will emphasize the citrus characters of the beer’s Noble hops while the chili flakes finish this pairing with a little heat that is balanced by a complex and lingering finish.

Is your mouth watering yet? Check out the recipe below and feel free to try it while rooting for your favorite team…

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