Le Petit Gateau opens in Marcellus

Main Street in Marcellus smells sweet again! Le Petit Gateau Cupcake Caf (c) is up and running. It's at the same location as the previous bakery but has undergone a complete makeover. The newly refurbished small cafe with a French flavor dazzles the eyes as well as the palate.

There are cupcakes galore but also scones, bars, a variety of cookies and for this special time in February, cookies in the shapes of lips frosted red. Lingerers are welcome. Four round tables are available as well as a small child's table complete with crayons and coloring books.

Allie Dineen, 26, is the pastry chef. A graduate of Marcellus High School, she said, "I'm really excited to be here."

Her love of baking began as a youngster when she received an Easy Bake Oven. During high school she studied Pastry Arts through BOCES. From there she studied Pastry Arts at Pittsburgh Culinary School, one of the few in the country that offers the specialized program. Dineen spent five years in Pittsburgh before returning home.

"It's fun for me," she said of her job. "I get to catch up with so many people I haven't seen in years. It's nice to be back in the community where I grew up."

Dineen rises at 3:30 a.m. to prepare for the 5 a.m. opening Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday opening time is 7 a.m. Closing time is 10 p.m. Monday through Friday; 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

She runs the shop herself with the help of high school students. When Diane Caryl of Marcellus and Sue Pray of Camillus stopped by last week, Caryl said, "It's just charming." Pray commented, "How pretty it is - neat and clean -- it's just beautiful."

Another customer, Karen Long of Marcellus, popped in after her workout at JA Spa and Fitness, requesting a strong coffee. Dick Holstrom of Marietta put in his request reminding Dineen, "You went to school with my daughter." Bill Renner of Marcellus, a retired architect, was paying his first visit to the cafe. "This is new to me," he said with a smile.

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