Why choose one restaurant when you can choose four?
Check out Aunt Mamie’s Italian Specialties, Sweet Ladybug, Sorelle Cucina, and Cocky Gourmet Confections.
“Being here, it’s like one big, Italian dinner,” says Liz Miles, Sweet Ladybug‘s owner. “You get your appetizers, your main meals, and your sweets. Each business contributes to the meal experience.”
And it’s true. You’d think that as four separate businesses, Aunt Mamie’s Italian Specialties, Sweet Ladybug, Sorelle Cucina, and Cocky Gourmet Confections would all be competing with each other. Maybe it’s part of them all being under the Aunt Mamie’s roof in Suite A5 at 835 Lincoln Avenue, but when I walked into the warm, clean, and chic building, I felt like I am meeting a family.
Aunt Mamie‘s has been at this location for about four years now, and the other three businesses joined this location recently. Sweet Ladybug is the most recent, and she is excited to be setting up shop at a new retail location.
“I used to exclusively sell gluten-free treats,” Liz says. “But now that I can use a large kitchen, I can expand my recipes and include more traditional items, too.” Liz bakes everything from chocolate ganache cakes to scones and also offers vegan options.
In the Aunt Mamie’s kitchen, you’ll find husband and wife duo, Mike and Theresa Vaccaro. They’re well-known for what they call “old-world” Italian food, like pasta, sauces, and meatballs.
“Our meatballs are normal-sized because if they’re any bigger than that, just make a meatloaf!” Theresa explains, while the other owners and I laughed. “And everyone says our gnocchi are like heavenly pillows!”
“It’s so true!” says AJ D’Angelo, owner of Cocky Gourmet Confections.”The gnocchi is so delicious with the creamy sauce!”
A few years ago, AJ stumbled into his business serendipitously. He always made batches of cookies for his family and friends at holiday parties, but one year, he made brittle instead.
“Everyone went nuts raving about the brittle!” AJ recalls with some wonder. “I literally just followed the directions, so I don’t see what was so great about it.” But, AJ also concedes that coming from a family of tough cooking critics, he concluded that there was something special about his brittle. Now, you can order your basic peanut brittle, or try hazelnut, walnut, almond, and bacon brittle flavors.
“I should make a prosciutto brittle!” AJ says to a chorus of more laughter. “That would really be something!”
“It would be amazing!” Deanne Boucher, co-owner of Sorelle Cucina says. She and her sister, Kristen Orlando own what is literally translated to “Sisters Kitchen,” serving Italian food in a modern style. What makes it modern, though?
“Take your basic Eggplant Parmesan,” Deanne and Kristen both explain. “We make it in stacks. And we also make our Mac ‘n’ Cheese in muffin cups, so they’re a lot like muffins!”
I’m sensing an obvious Italian theme throughout our conversation. It seems that nothing excites these chefs more than every joy and flavor Italian food has to offer.
“It’s traditional, comfort food for us,” says Deanne, and everyone nods in agreement. “There was always Italian food around Kristen and me growing up. It reminds me of Sunday dinners with all of our family chatting and laughing.”
If they hadn’t told me they were four separate businesses, I wouldn’t have known with how much they joke and have fun together.
“We may be separate, but we all support each other,” Deanne says.
You can support these businesses too! Sorelle Cucina and Sweet Ladybug have just started catering in the area, and Cocky Gourmet Confections and Aunt Mamie’s are always welcoming new customers.
Check out their Grand Opening Celebration on March 10, 2018 at 11am at 835 Lincoln Avenue, too!
Aunt Mamie’s, Sweet Ladybug, Sorelle Cucina:
Wednesday – Friday: 12-6pm
Cocky Gourmet Confections:
6 days a week, 9am-9pm