A Roman Goddess Brings Good luck to a Bakery
Allyson Mansfield, owner and head pastry chef at Vesta Bakery, grew up in Westerly with a love of baking. But it wasn’t until a stint in California, training to be a true pastry chef, that she got the gumption to come back to Rhode Island and open her own place. That was almost nine years ago, and the good citizens of Westerly thank their lucky stars that she did. Not only does she specialize in pastries—the chocolate mousse bombe is a customer favorite—but the breads have a loyal following as well. The focaccia, roasted tomato bread and olive bread point to Mansfield’s Italian heritage, as does the panettone she makes at Christmas. Other December specialties include a Yule log, gingerbread and cookie trays, with Linzer cookies and shortbread along with traditional Italian anise and bocci (hazelnut). Vesta’s second busiest time of the year is the week before St. Joseph’s Day (March 19), though they do make their renowned zeppole from the beginning of the month through Easter, in flavors that go beyond ricotta or vanilla custard for fillings to Bailey’s Irish cream, limoncello, Nutella and amaretto. The staff even takes turns dancing out front, in a zeppole costume!
Closed Mondays. 47 Railroad Ave., Westerly. 401.348.7055; VestaBakery.com