LONG BEACH, New York -- If it is not the bright pink exterior that catches your eye, then it has to be the aroma of the freshly baked goods bringing you into Baked By The Ocean.
Owner and Pastry Chef Cat Schimenti learned how to bake when she was three, but it was not until she took a home education class at Lynbrook High School that she realized her life was about to begin.
At the age of 15, she began her journey working in the restaurant industry, learning from various chefs eventually leaving Long Island when she was 18 to explore more opportunities on the East Coast.
When she decided she wanted to open a place of her own, she decided to return to Long Island after 18 years of perfecting her craft in San Francisco.
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After a night out with friends, Schimenti saw the space and knew that it would be the perfect spot for her store.
"Whenever you come into baked, you can get the vibe right when you walk in like you're in my house," said Schimenti. "With great music, shiny disco balls, and fantastic pastries."
Three years ago, Schimenti opened her dessert shop, and the customers have been rolling in ever since.
One of her signature items that are always the first to go is her rainbow bars.
The bars can come in either three or six layers and can come in a variety of colors. Currently, the bars are rainbow-colored to represent the pride flag for June.
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"Everyone's overwhelmed when they walk into the bakery," said the front-of-the-house employee Dan Burke.
As more customers would come in, Burke answered many questions about the treats in the display case.
"They always want to know what is the newest, most exciting thing that we have, and it's fun just figuring out how we're going to put together this art piece of a box that we put together for them," said Burke.
The wide variety of options has customers standing in front of the display case for at least 20 minutes trying to figure out the latest treat to take home with them.
Schimenti loves to constantly create and experiment with new flavors and creations with her local customers, who are always ready to try Schimenti's latest delectables.
"Everybody thinks it's so funny and almost ballsy that I just do whatever I want at this point," said Schimenti. "I just wanted to be able to play good music and make what I want to make and do my own thing. There's a lot of love that goes into everything from the front door to the back."
Contact Community Journalist Alex Ciccarone