When it comes to selling candy and sweets on Hertel Avenue, Bella Mia Candy Shop at 1096 Hertel Avenue was a trusted friend. But as the winds of time blow, change rolls in and some businesses must shutter their doors. Fortunately, the closing of this sweets shop has a silver lining – Blue Marble Sweet Shop has taken its place, and is now up and operational, which means that people will still be able to get their favorite confectionery delights, along with some new and updated twists.
A friend of mine told me that the owner of Blue Marble, Cecelia Ceccone, has “a unique vision for being an inclusive community and expanding our world-view through pastry!”
Of course those accolades piqued my curiosity, so I reached out to Ceccone to talk about her vision for the business… and what a fun and interesting vision it turned out to be. You see, Ceccone hails from DC, an international city, where she was exposed to a lot of different worldly influences. She grew up in her family’s restaurant business, which is where she garnered much of her experience and love of food… especially the sweets.
Upon moving to Buffalo five years ago, Ceccone decided that the corporate life (which she was in at the time) was not for her – she wanted to do something more creative. Since moving to Buffalo, she spent a lot of her time volunteering all over the city. She said that it was the best way to meet people and get the lay of the land. She found herself very impressed with Buffalo’s immigrant and refugee populations, because she has an absolute love for maps, traveling, and learning about new cultures. When she finally decided that she wanted to open a sweets shop, she immediately knew that this was her chance to open her doors to all of the cultural groups that she was working with.
Traditional peanut and Thai peanut brittle (spicy and vegan) were served up for the official opening of Blue Marble Sweet Shop, this past weekend.
How did she do this? Well, Ceccone told me that each month she is going to be introducing a new set of international flavors to her business called Blue Marble Sweet Shop. The first month will be dedicated to Japanese flavors, where people will be able to try out a lychee flavored milkshake, or green tea flavored ice cream. “I’m trying to get wasabi flavored Kit Kat bars in, which are super popular in Japan,” said Ceccone. “But they are back ordered at the moment. I want to take the idea of sweets to another level – an international level. It’s especially timely in Buffalo right now. It’s an update to what people already love. I want Blue Marble to be a crossroads – a meeting place, where people can learn about the countries, the foods, the languages, and the people. There’s an educational aspect, which is very important. The kids will love the worldly information… and for the adults? They also like the more nostalgic stuff – the shoestring liquorish laces, the Turkish toffee… and I want to make sure that everyone is welcome, so there will be plenty of gluten free items. I will will also have vegan ice cream flavors, starting with vanilla and apple strudel.”
Along with the sweets, Ceccone is serving up Turkish coffee, French press coffee, a daily drip, and a Moka pot (Italian). “I figure that since the Italian Cultural Center will be opening at the former North Park Library, I should have plenty of Italian selections,” noted Ceccone. “But I want this to be a place for everyone – they say that the best way to get to know someone is through food and drink. I also would like to see people sharing their family recipes… I want this place to be a collective, where people work together to share cultural cuisines. I know that I can’t compete will all of the incredible sweet shops around Buffalo, so I need to find my niche. I have an absolute love for sugar, people, coffee, and conversation. I want this to be known as ‘Our place.'”
Blue Marble Sweet Shop | 1096 Hertel Avenue | Buffalo NY | Instagram
Photos by Patty Banning