2010-02-12 / Business

Success tastes sweeter when you earn it

STORY BY TARA CUCCHIARA

The Dessert Bar offers a beautiful display of desserts and cordials in a romantic atmosphere. SUBMITTED PHOTO The Dessert Bar offers a beautiful display of desserts and cordials in a romantic atmosphere. SUBMITTED PHOTO They say, “the third time’s a charm”. For entrepreneur Stephanie DeAmicis, owner of The Dessert Bar, she is hoping the third time is also her final destination.

Stephanie grew up in Fitchburg before living in Boston for 11 years. She moved to Leominster is 1997 and while she was happy to move into the community, she said she did find “a dying need for cappuccinos and specialty coffees in the area.”

Maybe it was the unsatiated need for a good Boston cappuccino, maybe it was the entrepreneurial blood that was passed down from her small-business-owning relatives, or maybe it was her marketing and advertising experience that drove Stephanie to start up her own coffee service back in 2003. Whatever the reason, once that leap of faith was begun, there’s been no turning back.

Chapter One: The Johnny Appleseed Plaza location. So the story begins with a coffee service geared mainly for coffee take-out and delivery service for businesses. After a major renovation of the small building in the JA plaza, pastries and coffee were on the menu and business was moving along. The crux in this plan, however was that this property was in the process of being sold. Stephanie figured she’d have time to get established and didn’t take this too seriously, but after only 8 months in, the property was sold and she was asked to move. After spending money and months renovating, she searched for a new home.

Chapter Two: Main Street Location- “La Tazza”. This location needed even more work and took a lot of time and money to fix up. And as new businesses often do when testing out their legs, La Tazza struggled with identifying what type of services it should offer. With a lack of parking, no liquor license, building/tenant issues, and many other details that Stephanie could write a book about, there were plenty of challenges during the years at the second location. Through all this, La Tazza managed to keep a steady client base and stay afloat.

Chapter Three: 40 Main Street-former Roma’s location- “The Dessert Bar”. Same old story, the building needed a major makeover. Here is where the well ran dry. During all these years of working hard to make the American Dream come to fruition, Stephanie’s kids sacrified in many ways along with their mom. Daughter Marisa watched her younger brother, they helped at home, in the store, and they got by with what little they had. Marisa and Nicolas saw their single mom work hard and never give up and this is the lesson that Stephanie hopes she has taught her kids.

Years ago at her second location, when she was trying to figure it all out, her son Nicolas who was six at the time, told his mother in all sincerity, “Mum, why don’t you just call it McDonald’s? Do you see how many people go in that place? I mean La Tazza? Noone even knows what that means.”

Stephanie sits in her new location with cappuccino in hand laughing about her son and speaking so frankly about her journey. As she recalls brick wall after brick wall that came her way, there is no tone of blame, anger, resentment, or regret. In fact she smiles while explaining that she believes in her business so fervently that she met with her kids, explained the situation, promised this would be the last time and asked for their permission to sell everything in their house to fund the final renovation of her new location. The kids asked some questions before Marisa proclaimed, “well, there will be less to clean.” Nicolas made his mom promise that when they could afford it, that the first thing she’d buy was an HD TV and cable.

Stephanie sold it all and after living is an empty house for a time, a friend donated beautiful furniture to the family. “This new furniture was much nicer than what we had before.” Stephanie says. “I told my kids, see? Things can always work out for you when you work hard.”

There is no lack of style and furnishings in the lush interior of The Dessert Bar. The beautiful leather chairs are as comfortable as they are stylish. The red and brown color scheme creates a rich and romantic atmosphere. The menu offers dessert and appetizers, along with dessert martinis and cordials. And of course they still serve delicious cappuccinos.

Business has been great since it’s re-opening this fall and Stephanie is especially excited about all the functions she is booking. “I am getting so much positive feedback and I have functions booked right through the summer. Bridal showers, baby showers, birthday parties, wedding receptions, it’s non-stop.”

This Valentine’s Day, The Dessert Bar is offering a dinner and dessert buffet, which can be viewed at www.bestdessertbar. com.

The Dessert Bar will be hosting an Academy Awards Event on Sunday, March 7. This is a black tie event, or guests can come in character. Guests may give an acceptance speech and win an award. Other guests can just come to watch the fun.

Stephanie jokes that her kids think she’s crazy. But for the most part, you need to be a little crazy and possess a strong will in order to survive in this world, and in order to make your dreams come true.

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