After decades of baking, cooking and catering experience combined, friends Latasha Trent and Donna Leonardi decided to go into business together in their hometown of Bellport.
In November they opened The Cake Jar Shoppe in the heart of the village.
After a few months of a soft launch, they’re getting set to open the shop seven days a week in early July — after school lets out.
As of now, the hours are Wednesday to Satruday, noon to 6 p.m.
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Within the quaint shop at 117A South Country Road, the partners offer huge cupcakes, pies, cakes, pastries, and Leonardi’s signature cake jars — of which her Red Velvet has taken home several awards from foodie festivals.
The cake jar is essentially that, cake in a mason jar.
“I saw [cake in a jar] online a few years ago and decided to put a twist on it with fun flavors and names that people will like,” she told GreaterPatchogue.
She had been looking for desserts for a barbecue.
“I wanted rich, decadent and memorable,” she said. “I baked red velvet first and had my friends try. Then came the fun,” such as the Holy Cannoli jar.
That’s chocolate cake with cannoli cream, chocolate chips, a layer of cherry compote and two layers of blueberry compote. “It’s an amazing combo,” she said.
Leonardi for years has been selling her chocolates to Hallmark stores and delis in New York City. She also started the company Liquid Luv — check it out on Facebook — before inviting Trent to join forces.
Meanwhile, Trent had been wowing people through her catering company, TNG Catering Food + Desserts, and local birthday parties in Bellport.
Her personal Instagam page is filled with her creative confections.
Here’s a pic of her handiwork from GreaterPatchogue’s Instagram feed:
Trent has been cooking and baking since she was a kid. She recalls taking a crack at her mother’s pound cake recipe at 12 years old. It took her over a year to perfect.
And she was a big help in the kitchen, being the oldest of five kids.
“I liked to cook in the kitchen and pretend I was Julia Child,” she said.
She then started catering family parties, event weddings.
Fast forward some 20 years later.
“And we saw this place was open,” she said.
They celebrated with a grand opening party in November.
“We were really shocked because of the outpouring of love from the community,” Trent said. “We were overwhelmed, but in a good way. We were crying tears of joy because this is our baby.”