About the Biz
- Company Name: Nona’s Sweets Bakery & Cafe
- Who we talked with: Dominica Clementi, Co-Owner
- Year established: 2000
- How to Find Them: www.nonassweets.com
- Socialize: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Get to Know: Nona’s Sweets & Bakery Cafe
Nona’s Sweets Bakery Cafe is a retail family-owned and operated business. “Nona” means grandmother in Italian, and we wanted to pay tribute to the generations that have come before us. When you shop small with us, you can see and taste the difference. It’s all about service, and of course, taste. We make fabulous wedding and corporate cakes and offer a variety of cake flavors; all custom made, just for you! Our “naked” cupcake bar is the first in Charlotte! We offer a variety of cupcake flavors and buttercreams to choose from; simply select your cake, buttercream, and toppings! We also offer cookies, bars, and Italian pastry and desserts. We serve breakfast 8AM-11AM and lunch 11AM-2PM in our bakery cafe. We use Boar’s Head meats and cheeses, sliced fresh for our panini’s, signature sandwiches, and wraps. Plus, homemade soups and fresh salads too!
As a business owner, what resource organizations have helped you along the way, and how?
Strategic Market Alliance provided wonderful information when we first had our concept. They helped with our business plan and directed us to resources needed for the next step.
What has been the biggest lesson learned during your entrepreneurial journey, and how have you used that to grow your business?
You always have to take a chance. There is always a risk, but if it’s thought out, planned, and the change will be of benefit, then it is worth it! Find your niche and go after that market! Once you are there, continue with additional services in that area.
What’s the most challenging thing about running a bakery and cafe?
I enjoy the creative process and working in customer service. I’m a real people person and love meeting and creating new things all the time. So, the most challenging part of the business is the administrative side – It has to be done and done well.
Out of all the family recipes on the menu at Nona’s, which means the most to you? Why?
Our Italian cream cake is a traditional cake we would always have at weddings and special celebrations. It is always prepared with a layer of vanilla sponge cake, raspberry filling, and topped off with cream cheese buttercream for the perfect balance. The texture is like a carrot cake because of the pineapple, pecans, and coconut in the batter. It is unique, delicious, and brings back many memories!
With so many coffee shops and bakeries in Charlotte, what do you believe makes Nona’s special?
It’s a real family here at Nona’s. Staff members have been here for many years; fifteen years for one and no less than three for others. We are a small team, but know what it means to serve. For us, it’s that warm, friendly face and high energy you’ll get when you visit. We’re here to make sure you are taken care of like family and enjoy the breakfast, lunch, and treats.