Celebrating 41 and making room for an even bigger and better 42:)

This year has been amazing, exhausting, eye opening, rewarding, challenging and bittersweet. A lot of people have asked me when do I rest?, where do I get the energy? Do you ever sleep? do you have anyone helping you? How do you keep on going? When are you leaving your part time job? Truth be told, I am not quite sure. Why don’t you hire someone?

This passion propels and feeds my energy when I need it most. Days are packed with the fun times (being in the kitchen creating unique sweets and teaching my amazing students about baking, creating friendships memories with hundreds of you)

Lots of days are filled with taxes, bills, paperwork, shopping for ingredients, going to suppliers, figuring out how to use social media, marketing, being glued to my computer, answering phone calls/texts, driving all over town, taking care of myself physically and mentally, going to doctors, paying bills, networking, going to events, supporting friends and family, saying no to things that I usually have FOMO because I need to rest.

The baking is easy, I don’t have to think about it. The other things are a constant juggle and struggle. Doing all of these things is A LOT. I am one person and I do like to attempt to sleep on occasion but truth is, it is hard to relax mentally and physically most of the time. I also still work a part time job because my bills have yet to pay themselves. There is a perception on social media that people see the positive stuff and forget there are struggles that I encounter daily and a lot of times a day. I am passionate, stubborn and determined to keep on keeping on. I have had my best year ever and I am extremely proud of all that I have accomplished on my own. I am kind of a big deal. I work hard, I hustle hard, I have not had anything handed to me. It is extremely tough, but I am tougher.

41, thank you for reminding me that is ok to celebrate my accomplishments, to stay on my own path and not follow what the “trends” are because I am a badass baker and know what I am good at and what I love to do. Cleveland may be just realizing how big of a deal I am and how damn passionate I am. At the end of the day, you will most often find me in the kitchen, with a headband, tee shirt, and my clogs, baking and creating unique sweets to satisfy my own insane sweet tooth. Sharing my passion with all of you is a huge bonus.

Here is a rundown of my 10 most proud accomplishments in the last year.

  1. TEACHING!!- 1 year ago, I taught 8 baking classes. June 9th was my 80th class. I have the BEST STUDENTS EVER! I could not imagine how much joy this would bring to me. I began teaching because of Bill Hildebrandt. He believed in me and supported me and constantly encouraged me. I miss him so much and am lucky to have the love and support of his family. My students have become friends, bakers and have welcomed me with smiles and warmth in EVERY CLASS! I have had amazing helpers as well including Fiona, Moira, Jenny, Sophie. 

  2. August 2018 I was nominated to be part of cleveland.com's most sinful sweet contest. I had 4 desserts qualify and 2 that made it on the ballot out of 61 that were narrowed down from hundreds of desserts in Cleveland. My lemon lavender dessert is what people knew me best for, I had just decided to put my pretzel salted caramel cheesecake on my menu and that ended up winning 5th place in the entire contest!!! I beat every cake in the competition with the exception of the winning dessert, the cannoli cake. 

  3. September 2018, I was lucky enough to be on Channel 3 news for the 2nd time!

  4. September 2018 I made my first appearance on New Day Cleveland.

5. December 2018, I was on the front page of the Sun Newspaper flexing my muscle :) This picture represents me perfectly, headband on, in the kitchen doing what I love to do best! I can be fancy sometimes but I prefer to be in the kitchen or traveling:)

6. I have been featured in several blogs and was chosen by the Rocky River lunch bunch to be their feature speaker. 

7. I was named the 5th best Pastry Chef in Cleveland by Cleveland Scene Magazine. 

8. My lemon lavender shortbread was featured in Cleveland Magazine.

9. I was featured in Magnificat High School’s Alumni magazine. 

10. I was chosen to be a model for both 3 sisters and Limelight:) 

As I embrace 42, I am definitely taking a brief pause to rest and plan bigger and better things for the future of Annie’s Signature Sweets.

I wholeheartedly am extremely grateful for all of your support, ideas, feedback, joy, smiles and embracing all of me. Some of you have seen me in my most challenging times and have never judged me. Thank you so much!



Ann LoParo