Tuscan-born Carrara brothers open Italian pastry shop in Moorpark
In Italy, a kindness is often repaid or a guest welcomed with a box of sweets from the “pasticceria” on the corner. These authentic Italian pastry shops traditionally offer a mouthwatering selection of cakes, cookies, breads, and sometimes even coffee or gelato. Brothers Damiano and Massimiliano Carrara—natives of Lucca, Tuscany in Italy—know just how much an Italian dessert can warm the soul. So now that the two have reunited in the United States, they’re excited to share a customary piece of their home and culture with their new neighbors in Moorpark.“ For the past two years I have been saving money here, and my brother was saving money in Italy,” Damiano, 26, said. “And then (in December) my brothercame from Italy and now our dream is a reality. ”Two years ago, Damiano started working as a bartender at Café Firenze in Moorpark, after he met Jacopo Falleni, co-owner of the restaurant, through a bartending association. Damiano said he’d often ask to work double shifts at Café Firenze so he could maximize his earnings, while 24-year-old Massimiliano refined his skills as a pastry chef in Lucca. As they worked hard on opposite sides of the world, the brothers dreamed of opening a business together in America. Their original idea was to open a warehouse specializing in Italian pastries and sell them to catering companies and restaurants throughout Southern California. But when a space opened up on West Los Angeles Avenue in Moorpark, Damiano came up with a better idea—to open a storefront based on the authentic pasticcerias of Italy. “People are able to come in and look at what we are doing,” Damiano said. “Instead of being in a warehouse, we can talk to people. What we want to do is keep the freshness and do the good things that come from Italy. ”On Dec. 12, Carrara Pastries opened in Moorpark. Since then, it’s been building a reputation as one of the most promising new businesses in the city.Decorated with a Tuscan flair, the small shop gives residents a taste of classic Italian favorites, including profiteroles, tarts, sponge cakes and tiramisu.Carrara Pastries also specializes in sandwiches, homemade croissants and “semifreddo” desserts, such as cold cakes and semi-frozen mousses made with yogurt or fruit.
“Many people think Italian (food) is just cannoli and pizza,” Damiano said. “But that’s because most of the people are influenced here in America—especially in California—by Southern Italy. We are not from the south of Italy, so we bring here the real Italian pastries . . . from the north, the south—a little bit of everything.”
Authentic Italian Bakery Opens in Agoura
Hankering for an authentic Italian pastry with a hot cup of cappuccino? You can head over to Carrara's Pastries (28914 Roadside Drive, Suite 107), opening this Sunday.This is the second location for brothers Damiano and Massimiliano Carrara, originally from Tuscany, Italy, who opened their first successful bakery in Moorpark in 2011. Massimiliano, a graduate of the Italian Pastries Accademy of Rimini, serves as head baker while Damiano runs the business. Damiano says he is very excited about the Agoura Hills location. "The landlord really wanted us to bring something new and fresh to this location," he said. The bakery will feature such Italian delights as tiramisu, cheese cake, cannolis and a variety of sweet torta. Beverages will include coffees, specialty teas, Italian sodas and fresh juices. "All of our pastries will be made in our bakery in Moorpark and brought over fresh every morning," Damiano said. For a light bite, Carrara's will offer small sandwiches made with focaccia, prosciutto and mozzarella.
Years ago, I had a conversation with Damiano about his vision of bringing his family to the United States to build an Italian pastry business in California. Even then, as we spoke I knew that I would see his idea come to full fruition. Damiano is one of the hardest working and most driven persons that I’ve ever met. His passion for flair bartending, all things Italian, his family, and his business is exemplary. When I first met him, he was a bartender, but he’s put that passion on hold to build a family Italian pastry business called Carrara Pastries located in Moorpark, CA. With the help of his brother, Massimiliano Carrara, who is the Pastry Chef, the success of their business has lent to the expansion of a second location in Agoura, CA.
On 05.05.13, Carrara Pastries opened its doors to the Agoura community at their location on Roadside, just off the Kanan exit of the 101 freeway. Both new and old customers flocked to the beautiful and elegant modern storefront in Agoura to enjoy friendly company and beautiful Italian pastries and espresso. Large glass cases of freshly-made delicious pastries line the back of the store. Beautiful photographs and mirrored walls offer a modern, but warm atmosphere. Not only do they have mouthwatering desserts, everything is prepared fresh with the finest imported Italian ingredients and to accompany your sweets, you can choose from a variety of Italian refreshments and espresso drinks. As the community welcomed Carrara Pastries with open arms, I’m delighted that such hard work can and has developed into this beautiful reality for the Carrara family. As they cut the ribbon and served the deliciously large and gorgeous white cake with fresh fruit and white chocolate, everyone lined up for a slice.
While Brandon and I were there, we couldn’t help but pick up some delicious profiteroles with light pastry cream, a delicious cheesecake and a beautiful hazelnut chocolate cake. Carrara Pastries has something for everyone: large cakes for special occasions, small bites for an after-dinner sweet tooth and everything in between. Massimiliano and Damiano were born and raised in Lucca, Italy. There, Massimiliano studied with top pastry chefs in Italy and trained in the exquisite art of fine Italian pastries. As you take a look at the various pastries, you’ll see things you’ve never seen before and others that you’re very familiar with; this is all part of the charm of this lovely new bakery. The Carrara family is a model for the American dream and with lots of sacrifice, time and effort, they’ve manifested their dreams into reality. Please visit the Carraras at either of their lovely locations and explore the sweetness they’ve created.
It's a Sweet Life - Malibu Magazine