Imagine for a moment you’re back in your mom’s or grandmother's kitchen; maybe it’s your aunt or your best friend’s mom, and you take a deep breath, as the waft of baking sugar fills your senses. You take a seat or do a little happy dance around the kitchen waiting for that great question, “Would you like one?” You only nod because your voice has escaped you. You look at the treat and possibly close your eyes with anticipation, and you take a bite. This time your eyes instinctively close as your entire being falls in love with the wonderfulness you’re eating. Well, that’s what it’s like at Stephanie’s Authentic Cookies & Sweets (S.A.C.S). At S.A.C.S that’s the memory you’ll find as one of great joy and comfort as you are transported to a time of simplicity!
Our cookies and sweets aren’t fussy, they’re not pretentious, they are classic, full of flavor, and authentic. Our goal is to create sweets that standout from the crowd—period! Our sweets take you back to a time when you were a child enjoying classic, traditional, treats that you can share with your kids and theirs. We design treats that add that extra special touch to your event(s), celebrations, and, well, any ole time! Our designs can be customized that are a reflection of our customers. The idea of creating dance parties for your taste buds is more than an idea, it's a promise and pleasure to do so!
When I was eleven years old, I went to Panama for the summer, I’d not been back since I was three. My family is from there, and what a great time it was! My maternal grandparents and I went to visit my great-grandmother, Mrs. Esmeralda Barnes Lewis (as she was known), she’s my grandmother’s mother it was Gran-Gran that gave me my first baking lesson. On the menu was Ranger Cookies, these cookies have oats, rice crispies, coconut, and are delicious—the uniqueness of the crisp from the rice crispies and the pillowy softness of the oats created an exceptional burst of flavor. Unknown to me, at the time, that that would be the first of many lessons in baking.
My next baking lesson was more of a trial than it was a lesson, a tough trial at that; in this trial my grandmother handed me a recipe and said, “Bake this,” and processed to leave the kitchen. I, of course, protested and said, “I can’t make this by myself,” she turned and said, “You can read,” and went to her bedroom. I stood there for a moment, completely unsure what to do—so I took a deep breath and found the ingredients and tried to perform my best impression of my Grandma Carmen.
So, the cake turned out horribly, and then Grandma Carmen, said, after throwing the cake in the trash, “Now you know what not to do, let’s do it right…” After wiping my tears, we made the four layered Mocha Chocolate Cream Cake together, and that sparked something in me. I didn’t know that those first moments would matter so much as they do to me today, but honoring these wonderful women, Gran-Gran and Grandma Carmen, is what S.A.C.S will do—everything that is created is in tribute to these women!
The passion, dedication, and endurance are because of what’s in my DNA from both sides of my family; it is not lost at all the importance family plays in the bakery and the opportunity to do what my Grandma Carmen didn’t get a chance to do. She died at the age of 56, young by today’s standards, she’s missed dearly; not only was she my granny, but she was my best friend and what does one do for their best friend—try to love them, honor them, and care about what they care about. Grandma Carmen was the first entrepreneur I knew; the term wasn’t used as widely as it is today, but there she was.
Grandma Carmen had a "soup kitchen" in Panama right across the street from the Pedro Miguel Locks of the Panama Canal. The kitchen would serve both breakfast and lunch, opened at 5 a.m. and closed around 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. The workers and locals would flock to her kitchen and grab food, some would sit and chat for a while before heading to work. The make-shift seating area was the carport that had a few small tables and chairs. And when she came to the States, Brooklyn, New York to be exact, she starts catering; I was her assistant—she taught me about presentation and the idea of “eating with your eyes first.” While doing so, I had no idea that those lessons would be as valuable as they are today! The kitchen had a few sweets, but her Butter Pound Cake was heavenly; to look at it, you wouldn't think much of it, but the flavor is exceptional—with the addition of nutmeg, she’d say, “It gives it a little something…” and, yeah, she was right! So, since she wasn’t able to open her banquet hall and continue her catering, S.A.C.S will do it instead—creating deliciousness and giving taste buds dance parties every day.
Featured items direct from Grandma Carmen's Kitchen: Butter Pound Cake, Carrot Cake, Lemon Pound Cake & Pumpkin Cake.
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