Toms River, NJ women turning delicious culinary ideas into reality at JG Desserts bakery
If you bake it, they will come.
Or, in the case of JG Desserts bakery in the Silverton section of Toms River, if they bake it, you will definitely want to come and try everything.
We all have that sweet tooth and want to treat ourselves or maybe pick something up for the day or need a dessert to bring to a family gathering or get-together or party.
Believe me, this bakery is one of those bakery options you'll need to swing by and pick something up.
These are two women from Toms River, graduates of Toms River High School East ('11) and the Ocean County Vocational Technical School who are doing big things in our local community.
Gina Racaniello and Jaime LaPinta are the co-owners of JG Desserts now operating at the spot where Pondrelli's Italian Pastry Shop was for the last 18 years in Silverton.
Gina and Jaime came into the radio station appearing on 'Shore Time with Vin and Dave' on 94.3 The Point and 105.7 The Hawk on Sunday morning with myself and Dave Crossan of Shoreline Wealth Management.
It's a sweet story from baking at home to baking for the community.
"We first started out about seven, eight years ago together. We just started working together in a commercial kitchen on the side, we both worked full-time jobs and then we decided we wanted to get into this together making custom cakes, desserts," LaPinta said. "We kind of just took off with a word of mouth and friends and family sharing our creations and since then we've grown a big cliental, which has been amazing. We decided it was finally time to venture out into a storefront."
"It's been really fun and working with your best friend -- can't get any better than that," Racaniello said. "We have each other, it's great."
Their story begins like many who either bake or cook for a living or enjoy it as a hobby -- at home in the kitchen growing up having fun making all kinds of goodies.
"We started out in my mom's kitchen just playing around -- she was not so pleased, lol, when we took over the kitchen, so she was very happy when we finally went out into the commercial kitchen but that's how we got started, playing around with different recipes and figuring things out," LaPinta said.
As they now own the space where Pondrelli's was, they plan on taking the torch from the Pondrelli family in carrying on some of their treats over the years while mixing in their own creations and treats.
"We are going to keep what Pondrelli's had to offer and just kind of add in our own things here and there," Racaniello said. "We've only been in there for about four weeks so just kind of settling in and taking it all in and enjoying it every step of the way. We'll be adding in our fun creations soon enough."
There is creativity flowing at JG Desserts with plenty to look forward to in the weeks and months to come.
"Our specialty has kind of been custom cakes, like the crazy cakes that you see and gravity-defying ones, so, we've been having fun with those," Racaniello said. "We're excited to try new recipes."
"We've been playing around with different cinnamon bun recipes, this past weekend we made bananas foster cinnamon buns -- those went over well -- chocolate-covered cheesecakes on a stick," LaPinta said.
As you may imagine big cakes, especially wedding cakes take a good amount of time and effort but the end result is a delicious success.
"It's very time-consuming, it takes days, certain things have to set up and dry -- you can't work on it consecutive hours, so, you have to come back to it," Racaniello said.
"We have to start with the bottom tier and just work our way up," LaPinta said.
There's no standard flavor per say, so you have some options in ordering up a cake.
"We try to give our clients a big variety of different cake flavors and fillings -- we offer vanilla, chocolate, funfetti -- and they can pick and choose if they want -- let's say they have a three-tier cake, the bottom tier can be one flavor, the top two can be a different flavor," LaPinta said. "You can have a big variety for your guests at the party."
There are some other treats and favorites that people have already been coming to JG Desserts for of late as well, and they are things you'll need to try.
"I would say cannoli's -- they have been our top seller over the past few weeks, stuffed bread -- we do a pepperoni and cheese stuffed bread -- so, it's not just sweets, we have some savory things as well," Racaniello said.