HAMMOND | For Bianca Oria, opening Tasty Treats Bakery was a sample of the sweet taste of success for her.
The 20-year old East Chicago native and September graduate of the Art Institute of Indianapolis said owning and creating from the Hammond storefront is her dream brought to life.
"Since I was a four-year old, I've dreamed of it. My mom tells me I've been in the kitchen with my grandmother learning since then," Oria said. "I like the idea of experimenting and coming up with new things," she added.
Tasty Treats specializes in cupcakes and desserts, and customers are already enjoying the delicious mix of flavors Oria produces.
Beyond your basic chocolate and vanilla combinations, the current list of cupcakes includes banana with caramel buttercream icing, chocolate covered strawberry, PB&J, coconut dream, mocha latte and more. Customers may "make their own" from a list of cake/icing flavor combinations.
"It's seasonal," Oria said of her cupcake and desserts menu. She said some of the offerings such as caramel apple cupcakes will be dropped from the menu in favor of new flavors for the upcoming season.
The Oreo cookie dough brownie is already a popular guilty pleasure, Oria said.
While muffins and cookies are always on the menu, Oria said she will, when asked, prepare such desserts as tarts and cookie trays.
Oria said her brother, Eric Oria, works by her side and other family members step in when needed.
"We come in at 3 a.m. every morning., so we're good for the day. Everything gets baked fresh," Oria said. She added, "We use only fresh ingredients."
Oria said she began visiting farmers' markets with her mother long ago. Now, she said, she enjoys discovering fresh offerings at the markets with which she can create new, sweet treats.
One of her favorite creations, so far, Oria said was a 3-tiered wedding cake with flavorful flourishes.
The bakery's location and hours are designed to make Oria's goodies easily accessible. "We open at 6a.m. for the morning crowd, and we're open until 6p.m.," she said.
Too, customers are able to place advance orders by e-mailing Oria at Tastytreatbakery@hotmail.com. "It goes directly to my phone, so I get them the minute they place the order," she said.
The energetic Oria is already contemplating taking her vocation to the next level by applying for an appearance on "The Cupcake Wars," the Food Network's competive baking and artistry show.
"Creating is my favorite part. I like just figuring out what will work and then making it pretty on top," Oria said.
Business: Tasty Treat Bakery
Address: 6806 Indianapolis Blvd., Hammond
Opened: December 3, 2012
Owner: Bianca Oria
Phone: (219) 381-4028