Type to search

sweetie pies
Photo by Melissa Cassese

Sweetie Pies Does Homemade Pop Tarts in the Hudson Valley

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest

Introducing Sweetie Pies, the homemade Pop Tarts with a twist from hair colorist, yogi, baker, and Westchester resident Melissa Cassese.

When Melissa Cassese first floated the idea of starting a baking business out of her family home, her mother was not thrilled. On the contrary, “she was terrified,” Cassese remembers, at the thought of “turning our galley kitchen, meant for a small family, into a bakery.” Cassese dropped the idea, busy enough as she was; she’s a full-time hair colorist at The Beauty Box in Rye and teaches yoga at studios and retreats around the Hudson Valley.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Sweetie Pies (@sweetiepies_ny)


Cassese’s love for cooking and baking began in her childhood. She grew up in an Italian-American household, “where food has always played an important role.” Whether it was her paternal grandmother’s unparalleled pasta with meatballs, freshly picked tomato and eggplant from her maternal grandmother’s garden, or sweets stashed, seemingly, in every corner of the house, Cassese learned early on the value of cooking with purpose. “Made from scratch, no corners cut,” is something of a motto for her kindred.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Sweetie Pies (@sweetiepies_ny)


Known among her friends as a skillful baker, Cassese developed a recipe for homemade Pop Tarts, which were “always a hit.” Early on, she would make one large pie and divvy it into small pieces. Then, “while making an apple pie in October [of 2022], I decided test out an apple pie pop tart with some leftover dough,” she recalls. “I took one bite and knew that this was the start of something.” Without alerting her mother, Cassese began advertising her diminutive pies on Instagram. “I thought, maybe, I could get this around her somehow, and she wouldn’t notice that I was baking in the kitchen more than usual,” she admits.

sweetie pies

Sweetie Pies come in six flavors: apple pie, s’mores, wild berry, blueberry, strawberries and cream, and pistachio. Photo by Melissa Cassese

Within 24 hours, she had over $500 worth of preorders. When Cassese returned home from work that day, she found her mother perched on the couch and knew, immediately, the jig was up. But “when she heard how many preorders I had, she supported me in my journey—at her kitchen’s expense, of course,” says Cassese. And with that, Sweetie Pies was born.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Sweetie Pies (@sweetiepies_ny)


Cassese’s pies are a tantalizing sight for those of us with a sweet tooth, and yes, they taste just as delicious as they look. To make them, she tops flaky, golden-brown pastries with homemade merengue and fills them with one of six flavors: apple pie, s’mores, wild berry, blueberry, strawberries and cream, or pistachio. “As time goes on, I just keep experimenting. I listen to others and see what flavor combinations they like,” she says. “It’s important to brainstorm and allow others in on your thought process, because they can help take your ideas to a whole other level.” Cassese’s personal favorite is the s’mores pie made with chocolate filling and torched merengue to give it a “campfire feel” – she insists it’s best enjoyed with a cold glass of milk.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Sweetie Pies (@sweetiepies_ny)


Interested in trying Sweetie Pies for yourself? Cassese takes orders via direct message on her Instagram profile (@sweetiepies_NY). Additionally, her pies are up for grabs at Beacon’s Elixxr Wellness Café inside Hudson Valley Food Hall every Sunday at 12 p.m. (Foodies are well-advised to arrive as close to noon as possible—they go like hotcakes.) Looking ahead, Cassese hopes to mobilize Sweetie Pies with a food truck, slinging her one-of-a-kind confections at events in the Hudson Valley and beyond. But even as her business continues to expand—with promises of vegan varieties and even more flavor options—Cassese stays rooted in the traditions of her family’s kitchen, musing, “I make sure I put the same love into my pies as my grandparents did into their meals.”

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is back this April 8-21!