Zest Fresh Pastry is an artisan bakery based in Stonington Borough, Connecticut. The bakery is a dream come true for Erin and Gabriella, two professionally trained pastry chefs who have collaborated to bring their experience and education to one place. In the summer of 2012 they began selling their pastries at a few local farmers markets and were so well received that they opened their own bakery at the beginning of 2013 in the old American Velvet Mill. Inspired by all the other artists, artisans and small business who have called the mill home, Erin and Gabriella experiment a lot and offer an ever-changing menu. You can expect to find an array of baked goods on a daily basis from savory pastry to sweet desserts; American classics to European delights. Zest can also be found at a number of farmers markets and at other coffee shops and restaurants through out the region.
Erin is one of the founding partners of Zest. She has been working in the food industry for the past 12 years both in the kitchen and out on the floor working directly with customers. She initially received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz in hopes of becoming a teacher. While working in several afterschool programs throughout Northern California, she used her knowledge and love of food to teach her students how to cook both healthy treats and tasty desserts. Upon realizing her passion for pastry was not merely a hobby, she trained at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, CA. Following culinary school, she spent four years as the Assistant Pastry Chef at the Dunes Club, a private beach club in Narragansett, RI. She also worked for four years as the Pastry Chef/Chocolatier at Jennifer’s Chocolates in Wakefield, RI. She also enjoys consistent private catering work when she visits California.
Gabriella is the other founding partner of Zest. She has been working in the food industry for the past 7 years. Before delving into this industry Gabriella graduated from Northeastern University in Boston with an undergraduate degree in Music Industry before realizing her passion for food. Following graduation, she immediately began her professional training in the food industry at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Cambridge, Massachusetts. While going to school and after graduation she worked in Boston at Pops Restaurant, Sage, and Legal Sea Foods Catering, increasing her skills in both savory and sweet cooking. Once discovering her passion for pastry, she continued her education in Montpelier and Aix en Provence in the South of France, graduating with a degree in French Language and Pastry. That program was followed with an internship at a boutique hotel in Provence. After finishing her internship she returned to America to settle in Connecticut, where she continued working and expanding her pastry skills at a local bakery.
After their schooling and travels, Erin and Gabriella met while working together. Their connection was immediate. Not only was their work ethic identical but their vision of the flavors and presentation of the baked goods were also the same. They are inspired directly by what is in season and growing in the local farms and gardens, incorporating fresh herbs and spices as well as using as many local and fresh produce as possible. They are also driven to erase the general belief that pastries must be sweet by introducing a number of savory flavors into traditionally sweet products.
We desire to surprise and excite your senses while you are enjoying our pastries. Bon appetite!
Erin and Gabriella