Dunmore Grad Takes the Cake with New Business

By Emily Fedor

Kallista Pluciennik started her own baking business, Lola's Dessert Shop. (Credit: Kallista Pluciennik)

Kallista Pluciennik started her own baking business, Lola’s Dessert Shop. (Credit: Kallista Pluciennik)

Kallista Pluciennik, a Dunmore High School alumna of the class of 2013, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America this past July with a degree in baking and pastry arts. And within a month of her graduation, she opened her own business: Lola’s Dessert Shop.

Currently a one-woman-show, Pluciennik is selling macarons, speciality cakes, cookies and more delicious desserts to Dunmore and beyond right out of her own home. Lola’s Dessert Shop, which is mainly operated through an online Etsy store, is sweet showcase for Pluciennik’s baking talents.

Online editor Emily Fedor caught up with the rising pastry chef (and guiltily interrupted her mid-baking) to talk about the process of opening her own business, recipe and design inspirations and, of course, her favorite sugary sweets.

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Emily Fedor: How did you first get interested in baking?

Kallista Pluciennik: When I was little I would bake with my grandma, but I never really thought of that as a profession until high school. I didn’t really get into it until I started doing the bake sales and stuff. That’s when I figured out that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

EF: And when did you realize you wanted to open your own business?

Custom cupcakes by Lola's Dessert Shop.

Custom cupcakes by Lola’s Dessert Shop. (Credit: Kallista Pluciennik)

KP: I was planning it while I was at school because I know around here there aren’t many jobs for what I can do. So I was looking for actual jobs maybe just to make some money. Then my plan was to move away, but then I figured why not just start my own business?

EF: Where did the shop name come from?

KP: My grandma’s name was Dolores and everyone called her Lola. So that’s why I named it Lola.

EF: What did the process of getting Lola’s off the ground entail?

KP: I did have to get my shop name approved by the state, but I did that awhile back so I could have the name. Then I got my kitchen regulated…by the Department of Agriculture so I am allowed to bake out of my house. They come, I think once a year, and they inspect your kitchen just to make sure that everything’s up to where it’s supposed to be. You pay a small fee and that’s it.

EF: And how’s the response been so far?

KP: It’s been awesome. I just love how the community is helping. A lot of people are supporting small businesses nowadays. So there was definitely a lot of support there. I’ve gotten so many views on my Etsy site, like almost 1,000 already, and I’ve gotten at least 20 orders. So to start, I think that’s really good.

EF: How have you been getting the word out there?

KP: Social media is definitely helping. I do have a Facebook account for it. I have an Instagram and my Etsy site. And then also I’m starting to do farmers’ markets where you have your own little stand.

EF: Where do you get the recipes and ideas for the baked goods you make?

Custom macarons by Lola's Dessert Shop. (Credit: Kallista Pluciennik)

Custom macarons by Lola’s Dessert Shop. (Credit: Kallista Pluciennik)

KP: I use a lot of the recipes that we had from school, but I’ve adapted those to what works for me. I also get a lot of my ideas from Pinterest. There are a lot of bake shops in Australia that have some really cool ideas so I’ve been taking some from them.

EF: What’s your favorite pastry to make?

KP: Macarons. They’re really difficult to make so I feel like the fact that I’m able to make them is sort of a skill. And they’re really versatile. You can make them in any flavor, color, shape. You could do anything with them. You can even make a cake out of them. They’re really cool.

EF: What can followers expect from Lola’s in the future?

KP: Right now we’re just saving up money to find an actual space to put it in. The courthouse square would be nice because I know there are a lot of spaces for rent there. I do have some fun macaron flavors in the making, and I want to start making my own chocolates, but it’s all in time.

Greater Scranton YMCA announces Inaugural Teen Self-Help Fair

Teens today are facing issues that no other generation has ever faced before, and many are struggling to find ways to cope. The Greater Scranton YMCA’s Inaugural Teen Self-Help Fair will bring teens of all walks of life together to address some of these issues in a safe, nurturing environment.

We are inviting preteens and teens ages 12-17 throughout Lackawanna County to join us for an afternoon and evening where they can come together to hear speakers share their experience, strength and hope on issues such as: depression, bullying/cyber-bullying, self-harm/suicide, addiction, social media, issues at home and more.

The event will run from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3 at the Greater Scranton YMCA, located at 706 N. Blakely Street in Dunmore. A dinner and dance will then begin at 5 p.m. Music and entertainment will include EJ the DJ Karaoke and a photo booth. The event is free to attend.

For more information or to register, call Paula Scotchlas at (570) 342-8115 ext. 232. The registration deadline is Sept. 30.

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The Y is one of the nation’s leading non-profits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. www.greaterscrantonymca.org  or www.wbymc.org.