Today I want to introduce you to Lorena Moloney from Pasticceria Lorena.
On her website Lorena describes herself as "a baker with a passion for Italian food and a very sweet tooth!!! As an Italian.....born with an inherent love affair with food, it’s in my blood and it’s the core of Italian family life."
When I first met Lorena, I was immediately struck by her absolute passion for what she does. Her absolute love of Italy and all things Italian just exudes and she is clearly committed to making sure her clients receive an authentic Italian experience. Her take on old Italian recipes is one which stays true to the origin and baked in the traditional Italian way.
I recently worked with Lorena on an event we planned for the owners of Stanford Hall, an exclusive venue in Leicestershire. I knew that it was time to shout about her incredible Italian pastries (and oh yes! I may have tried one or two of them just for wedding planner research you understand!).
Although I have always been a good cook, skills passed on by my Mamma, I started baking whn I was pregnant with my first child. As a mother, I got that nesting instinct and I felt I needed to know how to bake a birthday cake. So I started to bake recipes from books and I got hooked. Friends and relatives started to enjoy and be wowed by my creations and asked me to bake for their occasions, and so the beginnings of a business idea was born.
However, I have never been a fan of icing and buttercream, I find them overly sweet and I also felt that the world of occasion cakes was saturated by such offerings. I wanted to offer something different and so looked to my heritage for inspiration. I wanted to offer people the same experience I remembered as a child when I visited my Italian relatives. My favourite place to visit was the Pasticceria, we would pre order our treats in the week and on a Sunday I would go with my aunt to the piazza and collect the most delectable tray of miniature pastries known as “Pasticcini”, after our Sunday family meal we would all dive in and devour them....heavenly!!!
So I suppose what inspired me to start my business was my heritage and traditions and the desire to bring something quite different and undiscovered to the people of Nottingham. I am proud to be the only Italian Pasticceria business in the area.
It’s most definitely the creating and baking! I feel most happy when I am elbow deep in flour and and shaping something delicious and the wonderful smells fill my kitchen. Having said that the thing that gives me the greatest pleasure and keeps me going when I am working long days is definitely the response I get to what I do. I am not sure if it’s the Italian in me, but feeding people makes me happy and seeing people’s faces light up when they see and taste what I do is just the best!!!
My favourite thing to create are dessert tables for weddings. That’s when my creativity really comes alive and I get to design and deliver spectacular dessert displays that often result in a ‘WOW’ before it gets devoured by all the guests.
Such a difficult question, I have many memorable moments and achievements each year that my business grows. However, the moment for me that stands out is when I created my first ever wedding dessert table. This was before I even offered dessert tables when a bride contacted me asking for some traditional Italian pastries for her wedding. We got chatting, clicked instantly and I found out that her mother was from the same village in Italy as mine. She wanted to give her guests something traditionally Italian and so I invited her and her fiancé for a consultation. A traditional Italian wedding cake, 200 pastries and a glamorous mirrored and diamanté display later, the Italian wedding dessert table was born.
The response I got from that wedding was fabulous and it’s why I continued to develop my wedding offerings.
Weekdays are divided between admisitrative duties like answering emails, marketing, stock ordering and accounts and the more interesting bit that is the designing and baking. So no day is the same really. At the weekends when I am baking for events and weddings my days start very early 5am and I can work up to 16 hours straight. It’s definitely hard on the legs and back but adrenaline and good coffee keeps me going. Baking and decorating has to be done in quite a short window as my cakes and pastries are all fresh so I can be prepping, baking and decorating for the two days leading up to the event and on the day I will finish, decorate and package everything. I deliver to the venue (East Midlands area) mostly in the evening and set up the display and the desserts. All of this requires a supportive husband as we juggle parenthood to two young children.
I am most excited about the growth and direction my business is taking this year and the opportunities that are arising as a result. I am branching in to supplying to trade so hopefully you will be able to sample my pastries in an around Nottingham soon and I will be collaborating with some Venues to bring some supper club events celebrating the best of Italian food and drink. As a wedding supplier I have been invited to collaborate in some exciting shoots and I will be taking part in the very first Unconventional Wedding Festival at the stunning Stanford Hall in May.
Thank you Lorena!
After our event at Stanford Hall, Lorena was invited to be a recommended supplier for this stunning and exclusive venue. All of the photos in this post were taken at that event by Megan Wilson and it's easy to see why everyone absolutely fell in love with her work.
To find out more about Lorena's authetic Italian wedding cakes and luxurious desserts, head over to Pasticceria Lorena. You can also follow on Instagram and Facebook where she regularly provides an insight into her delicious creations and shares details of her consultation days and offers.
Until next time,
Photo credits: Captured by Megan Wilson