Growing up, I spent my summers and snow days at my father’s bakery, Vincent’s Cookie Cupboard, watching my dad rock the kitchen and helping bake breads, rolls, cakes and other sweets.
My father was brilliant at his craft. He taught baking and pastry for years at Middlesex County Vo-tech before opening his shop. The best feeling was waking up hours before the sun rose to work with him. I remember tagging along when he made deliveries and seeing the clients’ reaction to what he created. It made me feel proud.
I wanted the same thing – to make people happy while doing what I loved.
When I was four, my father bought me my first drum, which sparked a passion for music. Throughout my childhood, I practiced my drum skills by playing in various local rock bands in New York and New Jersey while also learning the art of baking, working in local bakeries.
This all came to a halt when I was in a serious car accident in 1994.
I was ejected from the driver’s side window, and they estimated my body traveled at 180 miles per hour when it hit a Chevy Suburban head on. I fractured C2 and C3 in my neck and had a multitude of other injuries. I couldn’t bake for over two years, and I couldn’t play the drums for much longer than that.
I spent quite a bit of time in occupational therapy learning basic life skills again. However, I was alive; and I was going to make it count.
Fast forward to 2009 – baking was just a hobby at this point. I’d make treats for friends and family, and that was the extent of it. But with time, word of my talent spread, and I began receiving a vast number of requests and orders.
After many years in the corporate world working in the insurance business, I realized I wanted to pursue a different career – one that I was avid about.
Lisa Lasky, my savvy business partner, and I created a plan for a rock ‘n’ roll themed bakery that fused the love I have for music and my passion for baking.
There was no conversation about where to open the first bakery: Asbury Park, New Jersey. Known for its musical history, insanely creative artistry and amazing beaches and restaurants, this destination for musicians and families was the perfect place.
In August of 2012, our bakery, Confections of a Rock$tar, was brought to life and broadcasted on television with Bobby Flay’s “3 Days to Open” show.
We had something that no one had: hardcore desserts that were musically inspired. We had “Don’t be Cruel,” an ode to Elvis with a banana cake and peanut butter frosting, topped with honey dipped bacon; “S’more Than a Feeling,” a tribute to the band Boston, which consists of chocolate cupcake with a graham cracker and chocolate chip base topped with marshmallow frosting; and many more.
Just like with my dad’s bakeries, word of Confections’ culinary creations spread quickly. Celebrity customers, and customers in general, started flooding in. Early on, we attracted celebrities in the New Jersey area, such as Snooki and JD DeServio. Now, we have a wall of signatures comprised of local rock band members to Hollywood stars.
My dad used to tell me that when I sat behind a drum set, I played it like I owned it – and that’s what I needed to do with everything in my life. So here I am now, owning it: creating music for the palate, with a great business partner, staff and supportive family behind me.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe it all began with a Christmas present and 1 a.m. alarm to be in the bakery with my Dad.
About the author: Kimmee Masi of Confections of a Rock$tar Bakery: baking up decadent desserts, as well as rock ‘n’ roll. The drummer and manager for the band Our Last Sin married her love for music and sweets when she opened her Asbury Park, New Jersey, bakery in 2012. Since, then she has gained a following all over the United States.
Edited for brevity and clarity by Sammi Caramela.