Your guilty pleasure
Established in 2017, Toscah Bakery is an artisanal, small-batch bakery based in Philadelphia, PA serving European and New American baked goods and desserts. Toscah Bakery specializes in sweet masterpieces including Toscah's soft-baked biscotti made with apricots, cranberries, and pistachios and specialty cakes like our sea salt dark chocolate cake and London Fog cake. We adorn all of our specialty cakes with fresh, organic flowers sourced from local providers and pride ourselves in hand crafting elegant and rustic culinary pieces.
The Story of Toscah Bakery
In the summer of 2016, I started Toscah Bakery unexpectedly while I was working as a research assistant in a biomedical lab at Jefferson Medical School in Philadelphia. During this summer job, I dreaded coming to work, realizing that I wasn’t interested in the research and needed a creative outlet.
Growing up, my Italian uncle, Rick Perrotta, and my Vietnamese aunt, Anh Perrotta, and I would bake the family secret recipe of “soft-baked biscotti” every Christmas to family, friends, and loved ones. Without fail, every year, we would get overwhelming praise and encouragement to start selling of biscotti. However, my aunt and uncle were dedicated to their respective full-time careers and never had the chance to pursue their dreams of opening a biscotti business. Because of this, I made a promise to them and myself during my freshman year of college that I would try opening their biscotti business before I would graduate Swarthmore.
Remembering the promise I made to my aunt and uncle, I mustered up the courage to bake my family’s biscotti and approached a local coffee shop in Swarthmore, PA called Hobbs Coffee. Incredibly, they agreed to sell my biscotti and thus began the beginning of Toscah Bakery. One thing lead to another and I started developing new recipes and baking a variety of baked desserts to sell to Hobbs including sea salt dark chocolate cake, London Fog cake, NY cheesecake, strawberry shortcake, sea salt molten chocolate lava cake, carrot cake, etc.
Once school started again in the fall 2016, my professors and friends got a wind of what I was doing and I started get flooded with individual orders and catering gigs for events. I was a biology major on the pre-medical track at that point in my life and started to see myself enjoying being in the kitchen baking and developing my business a lot more than being in the hospital and shadowing doctors. I think this was a really crucial realization for me because it made me really question what I wanted to do with my life professionally. I asked myself a really pointed question which was, "Therese, what are some things in your life that you love to do and would continue doing in your life without pay?" and came up with three things: baking, biology, and teaching.
One night I just had a lightbulb moment and thought up of this idea of offering workshops to my customers teaching the biochemistry of baking. Also reflecting back on my experience growing up low-income with very few STEM opportunities around me, I want to create a fully funded after school or summer program for high schoolers with similar backgrounds teaching the Biochemistry of Baking. STEM topics like biology, chemistry, and biochemistry can be very intimidating and I want to make science more engaging, accessible, and fun.
I envision Toscah Bakery to be a artisanal baking business that offer elegant, unique, and delicious culinary pieces that also serves as a platform for redefining science education through the art of baking. I envision Toscah to be a mobile baking business that comes with me wherever I go throughout my life and career. No matter whatever path I take moving forward, I am genuinely dedicated to continuing living the dreams I have for Toscah Bakery and all the adventures that come with it.