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Tina's Cake Emporium Is A Simple, Sweet Delight

Something different is baking in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, and boy, does it taste good. Tina's Cake Emporium isn't your average bake shop. Unlike the chain bakeries, nothing is flash frozen. Every single item that passes through the doors of the bakery is made fresh from only the highest quality ingredients.

"I'm working 15-19 hours a day on weekends making cakes so that my customers get the freshest cakes possible," Tina Salvatore, owner of Tina's Cake Emporium, said.

Salvatore doesn't just bake on weekends, though. She's got something in the oven every day. After offering a period of free trials, Salvatore fine-tuned her menu based on her customers' direct input. Flavors range from classic Yellow and Chocolate to candy flavors like Snickers, fun flavors like Orange Creamsicle, and adult flavors like Mudslide or even a Fuzzy Navel.

The Emporium offers Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Sugar-Free options, too.

"I love to put smiles on people's faces and make people welcome in my shop," Salvatore said. "My bakery has become the place to come, get a cupcake and chat about everything from local politics to cruise destinations and advice on bookings."

For Salvatore, owning a bakery takes her back to simpler times. She began baking at a young age, getting excited when her parents presented her with a cookie press when she was only 12 years old. It wasn't long before she became the family holiday baker.

"My mother let me experiment with her cookbooks and boy did I," she said. "I use her recipes in my shop."

Although Salvatore has always been interested in baking, starting at a very young age, it wasn't her life's focus. In fact, she began her adult career as an accountant. When her company relocated their main office to Florida, Salvatore's husband, Mike, urged her to walk away and follow her dreams. In a matter of 6 weeks, she went from being a corporate accountant to bakery owner.

"Talk about my life doing a 180 change," Salvatore said. "From 40 hours a week to 70 hours a week! I will admit that there are days I miss just playing with numbers and pushing a pencil and shutting my mind down at 5pm but then I look at the faces of my customers when they see their cakes or hear the stories of how their child keeps bugging them to bring them in for a cupcake?That right there makes is work the long hours I put in."

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