Latina goes from engineer to pastry chefby Blanca Mastbaum-Kane • Conxion Food Editor • July 3, 2008
¡Hola, amigos! Sometimes you don't realize how you get from here to there. Dreams can change as the years go by, and your life heads down a completely different path from where you started.
This is what happened to Mary Marrero, owner of M&M Great Cakes, 32 Main St., Webster. Marrero left a 20-year career as an engineer at Kodak to follow her passion and fulfill her true calling of engineering masterpieces of flour, sugar and fantasy. About seven years ago, Marrero started the bakery as a real home-grown business, literally going door-to-door with samples and taking orders. When she opened in Webster, she was only open in the evening, after working at another job all day. She finally decided that her heart was in her business and made the leap to be open during the day.
Her faith has paid off: "Working for yourself is hard, but it's so fulfilling."
The tidy, cozy shop invites you to sit with a hot cup of coffee and a sweet delight from the everchanging list of pastries, breads, cakes and pies.
"I don't make everything every day," explains Marrero, "but if you want something specific, you just have to let me know, and I'll have it for you in 24 hours. I like to accommodate my customers."
The menu has several Latin favorites such as dulce de tres leche, flan and pan de agua. Marrero has also expanded to include Italian, German and traditional American selections. She hosts birthday parties and meetings in the room adjacent to the main bakery. As a Wi-Fi spot, you can also sit quietly, (though maybe not while a party is going on) and surf the Net or get some work done while the delicate scents of freshly baked goods waft around your head.
While there are many individual goodies you can get, the heart of M&M is the cakes. A wall of pictures attests to Marrero's mastery when creating Caribbean-style cakes, with moist centers drenched in flavorful syrups.
"If you want the usual cake there are plenty of places you can get them. I want to make something memorable, something unique," Marrero says.
Covered in fondants, icing and other distinctive decorations, the rich flavors match the external beauty.
She has musical acts in almost monthly and will soon have Latin cooking classes available. Eventually she would like to have a lunch café with Latin delicacies.
"I'm always in transition," Marrero says. "I always want to keep my eye on the future."