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Bringing Italy out East

Italian pastry maker expands her business
  • Sara Volponi.

  • Sara Volponi inside her store 'Italiana Dolce'.

Guardian Business Reporter

Published: Jul 19, 2013

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Some might say there is nothing sweeter than having the ability to fully pursue your passion and then being able to share that with others, and that is exactly what Sara Volponi has achieved. The executive pastry chef believes just one bite into any of her fresh baked goods will give you that feeling.

In this week’s edition of Da Plunge, Volponi said that it was her love for her birthplace, Italy, along with her passion for food and being able to share that with others, which led her to open up Italian Dolce. Volponi started baking at home two years ago, supplying Starbucks with her goods. Now, from her storefront location in the Seagrapes Shopping Plaza she provides the popular coffee brand with eight specialty items. Her specialities include banana bread, chocolate chip brownies, lemon and yogurt muffins, rum raisin scones, white chocolate raspberry bliss and a spice coffee cake for the popular coffee brand.

“At Italian Dolce, we make Italian and local pastries. Everything is made from scratch, no preservatives or food coloring,” she said. “Sometime back, I was in the Starbucks Marathon Mall location and we were talking to the person behind the counter about food and pastries. I wasn’t impressed with the pastry selection that I saw so I asked them if they wanted to try something new. They gave me the manager’s number, I spoke with them and they tried some samples. And as they say, the rest is history.”

Italian Dolce officially opened its doors three months ago and has five employees, four full-time and one part-time. In addition to now selling to the general public under her own company’s identity, Italian Dolce supplies Solomon’s Fresh Market with pastries.

“I have been working by myself for the last two years. However, since opening Italian Dolce, I’ve hired help because the business grew and I could no longer do it by myself. I have five employees. Since opening, people are expressing delight in having a bakery in the east because there is not that much in the area,” Volponi shared.

In addition to pastries, Italian Dolce also offer sandwiches, soups, pizzas and other lunch delights. “People are starting to appreciate my fresh baked goods. On Saturdays, I make pizza. I try to do something different from any of the other local bakeries. We offer our customers different samples,” she pointed out. “The things that are sold at Italian Dolce can’t be found anywhere else on the island. I want to bake items that can’t be found anywhere else. Taking that approach is not always an easy road because Bahamians are used to certain items like guava duff and rolls. But there are those that like to try different things. We adapt to the taste of our customers. I use local flavors to produce my goods.”

In the future, Volponi hopes to have another location in the western part of the island and possibly another one in the Family Islands.

Last Updated on Friday, 19 July 2013 15:37

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