Section: Features

The best in Italian-American sweet treats­ — ­­­now on K-Card

The best in Italian-American sweet treats­ — ­­­now on K-Card

Photo by Jack Zellweger

Stepping off the Mount Vernon square into the Ferrari Baking Company, you might never expect to find a tale of true romance that stretches across continents. But that cross-cultural love affair — between two professional bakers — gave birth to this small storefront.

About eight years ago, Carlo Ferrari met Denise Davis through a mutual friend in America. Their shared love of pastries sparked a desire to combine their knowledge of Italian and American sweets. Thus, the Ferrari Baking company was born.

While from the outside Ferrari looks like any conventional bakery, a step inside whisks you away to Italy. The store is adorned with traditional Italian art pieces and an abundant — and aromatic — supply of pastries to choose from. After sampling just half of a gigantic red-velvet cupcake, embellished with handmade cream cheese, this reporter had to sit down to recover from the sugar rush.

The bakery offers a mix of Italian and American pastries; specialities include tiramisu, wedding and birthday cakes, brownies and fruit tarts. “All of the Italian recipes come straight from Carlo’s mom, but Carlo stays out of the kitchen,” Davis said.

In 2013, only one year after opening, the store was invited to attend the prestigious Columbus Italian Festival, an annual cultural celebration in October that features authentic Italian food and entertainment.

With the bakery located several miles away, Ferrari Baking Company has made significant efforts to bring its creations to the Hill. A few years ago, the bakery catered an Italian film screening hosted by Cinearts and Gund Gallery. Ferrari even produces food available at the Village Market, such as Italian breads and soups, and delivers birthday cakes to the Kenyon Bookstore. This year, the bakery will help cater events during Family Weekend on Oct. 14-16.

“The pastries here are quite authentic compared to most,” Elvin Shrestha ’19 said. “I particularly enjoy the fruit tarts.”

Hoping to further expand their business in Gambier, the bakery plans to begin selling pastries at the bookstore. And for those students who don’t mind the 10-minute drive, Ferrari Baking Company has begun accepting K-Cards as a form of payment. Davis said she was exceedingly pleased when Kenyon approached her about the possibility, and she hopes accepting K-Cards as payment will bring more business to the store.

In spite of their joint business venture, the couple still lives an ocean apart. Ferrari  lives in Italy and works for the Carabinieri, a subset of the Italian military specializing in police work, but makes frequent trips to the U.S. to see Davis.

“Carlo and I have been traveling back and forth for years, but together we’ve made a big happy family,” Davis said.   

Ferrari Baking Company is located at 3 West High Street, Mount Vernon, and is open Monday through Wednesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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