WELCOME TO AFRAGOLA DOLCE
Afragola Dolce is a bakery that specializes in whole food desserts. We are committed to using only the top quality wholesome ingredients that not only make you feel amazing, but taste incredibly delicious. Our desserts are gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free. We always steer clear of ingredients with crazy names you can’t pronounce and chemicals you don’t want to ingest. Instead, we use ingredients derived directly from nature. It is our mission to make amazingly rich and scrumptious desserts that you can eat all of the time, not just on special occasions.
Hi, I’m Hayley and I’m the proud owner of Afragola Dolce. I guess you could say I envisioned owning a food based business my entire life. I have so many rich and colorful memories of being in the kitchen with all of my family cooking or baking, scents and flavors that brought me joy, using my hands to make creations that could be enjoyed at the dinner table or any time during the day. Cooking and baking runs through the generations in my family and I feel blessed it passed on to me. I make my cakes more beautiful and healthy by decorating with edible flowers.
One huge influence in my life has been my Italian-American Grandfather, Vincenzo. He has taught me so much about not only cooking, but knowing where food comes from, how to start it from seed, nourish the soil, protect the plants from harsh conditions and the many ways his family prepared traditional, peasant dishes that are now served as high cuisine and healthy. I used to think everyone’s grandpa grew a great big fabulous garden every summer, but now I realize that so many people never had that exposure and I feel even more grateful to my grandfather for passing on his family traditions.
My mom tells a story of how I demanded to help cook on my second Thanksgiving when when I was a year and a half, I then graduated to the easy bake oven, exploring recipes on my own for my family to try and had the amazing opportunity to intern for an Italian Cooking School in high school on weekends.
As I have traveled through my journey, going to fashion school in LA, attaining my Integrative Nutrition Certificate, working as a Food Stylist in TV, dealing with my own health challenges and having had more time to consider what makes me happy and healthy I embraced my innate love of cooking and baking. They say to unlearn everything society has taught you to discover yourself and my heart is happier and more peaceful when interacting with food in an organic and creative way that nourishes the mind, body and soul.
Having had the opportunity to travel abroad and experiencing slow food cuisine that could either be from a street vendor, a local market, a meal served in someone’s kitchen, a humble restaurant, or served at a high-end restaurant has had a profound influence on my beliefs. It has served to solidify my belief that we need to do better in growing our own food, sourcing wholesome ingredients, cooking and baking our daily meals, learning from other cultures who do “it” better and creating healthier options for others to eat and/or purchase.
The universe worked a little magic for me this year on my birthday. I know she is always working magic and blessings, but this year I could easily see what the blessing was as sometimes we can’t see them right away. After sharing a photo of my birthday cake that I made for myself during quarantine, someone reached out to me and asked if I could make them a cake. Afragola Dolce was born.