BRONXVILLE, N.Y. The Gambini family likes to feed people. At their Chantilly Patisserie in Bronxville, they serve up gooey almond croissants, sweet fruit tarts, warm baguettes and flavor-filled cookies.
Sisters and roommates Maria and Mariana Gambini opened the French-inspired Chantilly Patisserie in January 2011 on Parkway Road after spending a few years baking in their mother's basement. Their mother Mirta is also a co-owner of the bakery, praised by Westchester Magazine as the Best Patisserie in Westchester.
"We are an Argentine family and we've always been around the kitchen and there is always food," said Maria Gambini, the cake artist, smiling as she remembered her roots in the north province of Tucuman.
Before Mariana Gambini baked at Chantilly, she was the executive pastry chef at Westchester Country Club. Before Maria added colored fondant to her sister's cakes, she was a supervisor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
"We always loved feeding people," said Maria Gambini, expressing that they always wanted to work together. "I did art; my sister did food. The combination of the two works beautifully."
Mariana, the chef, opens the kitchen at 3:30 every morning, as all of their desserts and breads are baked in-house. Before the family created desserts there, the location was home to a repair shop. The owner fixed TVs, radios and other electrical components for 40 years.
"Hopefully his good luck passes on to us so we can be here for 40 years as well," said Maria Gambini.
Chantilly Patisserie is currently trying to win a $250,000 grant, given by Chase Bank and Living Social to 12 small businesses across the nation. If Chantilly wins, the Gambinis anticipate opening a second store location in Manhattan and being even more involved in the community.
"We're excited," Maria Gambini said. "If we get the grant, it would be awesome. We have been working so hard. It's like blood, sweat and tears. It really is. It would be such an ego boost to get something like that. It gives you really good fuel for striving to the top."
While Chantilly Patisserie already surpassed the number of votes needed to be considered for the grant, they still ask for the community to continue cheering them on. To show support for Chantilly Patisserie to win the grant, vote for them here .
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