By Jessica Bagley firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — Magpie’s Bakeshop & Cafe, Tonawanda’s newest family bakery, celebrated their official grand opening this week after more than two months of creating gourmet sweets in the city.
Sisters Sarah Mallare and Christine Carr opened the cafe in June with help from their mother, Christine “Maggie” Smith. The pair, who grew up in the Town of Tonawanda, has baked desserts for The Village Inn on Grand Island for over a decade, where Mallare also serves as a chef.
Mallare said she enjoys baking, and her first love has always been food.
“I started cooking at the age of 11 ... my mom worked full time and I started dabbling in the kitchen,” Mallare said.
After she cooked, Carr would clean.
“And it’s still that way,” Carr joked.
After years of teaching themselves how to cook and bake, the sisters began dreaming of opening their own place more than a decade ago.
“We would go into cafes and coffee shops, and take it all in, thinking we would do this one day,” Carr said. “And then we made the jump.”
They found a vacant bakery at the corner of Niagara and Main Streets in the City of Tonawanda, and not long after, their dream became a reality.
Carr and Mallare, who is still a chef for The Village Inn, has been filling the shop’s cases with chocolate cake, pies and gourmet cupcakes.
The pie and classic dessert recipes are the products of the sisters’ endeavors over the last 15 years. But Mallare is still coming up with new specialities depending on her culinary inspirations for the day.
On Friday, the highlight was a Banana Pancake cupcake, with a mini flapjack on top of mounds of frosting. To round out the breakfast theme, Mallare has also perfected a maple bacon french toast cupcake.
“They sound a little crazy, but they’re delicious,” Carr said.
They add their own style to other recipes, too — like the York Peppermint Pattie cookies, and the loaded sugar cookies, which are packed with goodies, like pretzels and M&Ms.
Custom desserts are also available, and the sisters have been baking for local parties and birthday celebrations.
Apart from sweets, the pair have also added breakfast and lunch items over the past two months. Many different pizza varieties were available Friday, from California white with artichokes and red peppers to three cheese pesto.
Quiche has also been featured on the menu, along with Mallare’s favorite item to cook — soup.
Offerings have included buffalo chicken soup, southwest tomato and black bean, broccoli cheddar and stuffed hungarian pepper and artichoke.
“I like to put my own spin on traditional recipes,” she said. “And I just love cooking soup.”
The success of their business and the development of their own recipes hasn’t come without their fair share of hard work though. With cooking for The Village Inn and working at the bakery, Mallare is logging 60 hours of work a week, and Carr is coming close.
“It’s all worth it,” Carr said.
The cafe is open Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Starting in September, the bakery will be closed Sundays and Mondays.
Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter @JessicaLBagley