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.