Baked fresh, from scratch, every day. That's what makes the colorful baked goods at Bensons Bakery & Cafe taste even better than they look. In addition to spectrum of pastries on display, the locally owned, independent bakery serves a menu of breakfast and lunch fare and plenty of locally roasted coffee.
Sandwiches make use of fresh-baked bread from the Great Harvest Bread Co., while bagels are sourced from Bagel Alley. Owners and head chefs Emily Erickson and Cory Boutin are Hudson natives who bring years of industry experience to the business.
Helmed by owner and pastry chef Kristen Livoti, the skilled baking team at BellaCakes creates customized cakes and cupcakes to wow guests at weddings and other special occasions. Livoti opened the boutique shop in 2008, after graduating from cooking school in Edinburgh and working as a pastry chef in New England. Now, from within their flour-filled kitchen, she and her team transform nearly any idea into a frosting-covered creation, such as cakes designed as castles, complete with turrets and grumpy handmaidens locked inside, to wedding cakes topped with vintage roses or fondant hand-painted seashells. In addition to being a nut-free shop, BellaCakes also specializes in accommodating customers with dietary restrictions by making vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free cakes and cupcakes.
Stella of Stellas Custom Cakes grew up smelling the fresh baked scents of her mother?s pizzelles and her brother?s breads and pastries. After shifting from a career in the mortgage industry, she started baking her own cakes, frostings, fillings, and fondants from scratch in small batches. She can make individualized cakes with a variety of flavors and fillings. Customers take home flavors ranging from a strawberry cake with vanilla buttercream frosting and lemon curd filling to a marble cake with coconut buttercream.
Helmed by experienced chefs Caitlin Adler and Christopher Vuich, Sweet Bites tantalizes taste buds with delectable baked goods, coffee, and lunchtime eats. While sitting in the cozy, wood-beamed dining room, diners can ogle paintings by local artists as they choose a joy-inducing indulgence from the bakery’s breakfast and lunch menu or fully stocked dessert counter. Delve into the fresh-baked goodness of mini or regular-size cupcakes ($2.50–$3.50), moisten a mouth with an individual quiche ($7), or abandon a boring nine-to-five for a whirlwind romance with a donut muffin ($1.95). Bite into layers of ham, mortadella, salami, capicolla, muenster cheese, and spicy olive and roasted pepper relish with a muffaletta sandwich ($9). Flavorful salads such as the cobb ($12), caesar ($8), or the crispy duck, sprinkled with herb goat cheese, roasted peppers, sweet 'n’ spicy nuts, and a lemon vinaigrette ($15) are sure to enchant, while the toasted tuscan bread bruschetta, spread with mascarpone cheese, fresh fruit, and honey, offers sucrose-rich portions to please sugar-starved palates ($8). Sweet Bites is a kid-friendly eatery, so pintsize companions can be treated to a grilled-cheese sandwich ($6) or pizza bagel ($6), while their fully developed wardens recharge with a cup of Java Tree fair trade coffee or Two Leaves and a Bud organic tea.
Bistro Bakery & Deli's artisanal flour specialists whip up batches of freshly baked goods to stock its hearty breakfast, lunch, bakery, and catering menus. Dive face-first into the gravitational pull of the more than 20 bagel varieties, including asiago cheese, spinach-garlic, and pumpernickel ($0.79 each; $7/dozen). Crying stomachs are serenaded with the savory tunes of the Bistro B.L.T. ($5.59) and the Tuscany salad ($5.99), and lonely hands can temporarily embrace the raspberry-chipotle-chicken wrap ($6.99) or the veggie delight ($5.79), which complements marinated artichoke hearts with roasted red peppers and provolone. The culinary artists at Bistro Bakery & Deli also proffer a selection of custom-designed cakes ($18.99+) crowned in a cappuccino mousse, pistachio buttercream, chocolate ganache, or Vanilla Ice sound bites.
Chocolate changed David and Pam Griffin's lives. David was more than three decades into a manufacturing career, while his wife, Pam, was 16 years deep in a career at a major coffee chain. The two became restless in their respective careers, so they left their jobs and looked for a joint business venture. They both settled on chocolate, inspiring David to begin studying under experienced pastry chef Delphin Gnomes at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. He started to create his own chocolate varieties, often incorporating healthy ingredients. In fact, his first creation was a dairy-free dark chocolate topped with pistachio. Pam, meanwhile, wanted to come up with an appropriate name for the business that reflects the catharsis and creativity chocolate can inspire. Hence, Chocolate Therapy was born. Today, the duo continues to produce innovative treats, displaying their decadent oeuvre in their store’s glass display case.
David and Pam can also schedule parties at their store. During the festivities, adults, children, or undercover oompa loompas masquerading as children can tour the chocolate-making facility and discover the secrets behind how the Griffins create their truffles, dipped caramels, and molded chocolates.