Zest Fresh Pastry is an artisan bakery based in Stonington Borough, Connecticut. It is a dream come true for Erin and Gabriella who are two professionally trained pastry chefs that have collaborated to bring their experience and education to one place. ZFP focuses on using fresh and local ingredients to create a uniquely superior product. Zest wholesales most of their product but also retails out of their bakery and at local farmers markets in Southeastern Connecticut.
Erin is one of the founding partners of Zest. She has been working in the food industry for the past 12 years both in the kitchen and out on the floor working directly with customers. She initially received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz in hopes of becoming a teacher. While working in several afterschool programs throughout Northern California, she used her knowledge and love of food to teach her students how to cook both healthy treats and tasty desserts. Upon realizing her passion for pastry was not merely a hobby, she trained at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, CA. Following culinary school, she spent four years as the Assistant Pastry Chef at the Dunes Club, a private beach club in Narragansett, RI. She also worked for four years as the Pastry Chef/Chocolatier at Jennifer’s Chocolates in Wakefield, RI. She spent the last 7 months refining her culinary and creative skills at a local market and catering company. She also enjoys consistent private catering work when she visits California.
Gabriella is the other founding partner of Zest. She has been working in the food industry for the past 7 years. Before delving into this industry Gabriella graduated from Northeastern University in Boston with an undergraduate degree in Music Industry before realizing her passion for food. Following graduation, she immediately began her professional training in the food industry at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Cambridge, Massachusetts. While going to school and after graduation she worked in Boston at Pops Restaurant, Sage, and Legal Sea Foods Catering, increasing her skills in both savory and sweet cooking. Once discovering her passion for pastry, she continued her education in Montpelier and Aix en Provence in the South of France, graduating with a degree in French Language and Pastry. That program was followed with an internship at a boutique hotel in Provence. After finishing her internship she returned to America to settle in Connecticut. She is currently working and expanding her pastry skills at a local market and catering company.
After their schooling and travels, Erin and Gabriella met while working together at a bakery. Their connection was immediate. Not only was their work ethic identical but their vision of the flavors and presentation of the baked goods were also the same. They are inspired directly by what is in season and growing in the local farms and gardens, incorporating fresh herbs and spices as well as using as many local and fresh produce as possible. They are also driven to erase the general belief that pastries must be sweet by introducing a number of savory flavors into traditionally sweet products.
We desire to surprise and excite your senses while you are enjoying our pastries.
Erin and Gabriella