Focaccia is a perfect pairing for summer salads so when I saw that Ann LoParo of Annie’s Signature Sweets, was offering a class in focaccia making, I signed up. Come find out what I learned from one of Cleveland’s Top Bakers (as named by Cleveland Scene and Cleveland.com)!
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I had the great pleasure of meeting Annie at a Cleveland blogging event several years ago! She provided her amazing sweets and we learned that we shared a love of travel as well as baking. While she hosted primarily virtual classes during the pandemic, I’m thrilled to let you know she currently has a couple of live classes scheduled while she continues her search for a new teaching kitchen. Check out her full schedule here.
About Annie’s Signature Sweets
Ann LoParo is the charismatic owner of Annie’s Signature Sweets, based in Cleveland, Ohio. At not quite 30 years of age, Ann left her career in social work to pursue her passion for pastry. Earning her degree from Johnson & Wales cooking school proved to be a pivotal life choice for Ann. She had not only found a fulfilling new career but a way to express her creativity and satisfy her notorious sweet tooth.
After 10 years of working as a pastry chef in restaurants and clubs all over the US, Ann decided to launch her own business! Her delectable sweets have become legendary among the Northeast Ohio event planning crowd and in 2018 she expanded her offerings to include baking classes. She now has over 500 classes under her belt and has been lauded in national publications like Country Living Magazine and Parade.com.
Her classes make for a unique and delicious activity for bachelorette parties, girls’ day/night out, corporate team building, networking events, happy hours, and more! Be sure to follow Annie on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. And keep an eye open for her occasional appearances on Channel 3 News and New Day Cleveland.
Focaccia & Fun
Upon registering for Annie’s focaccia class, I was promptly emailed a detailed supply/ingredient list, the recipe we’d be using, and a link to the Zoom conference. Annie limits all Zoom events to 15 people or fewer so that she can provide individualized attention to everyone on the call.
During class, Annie demonstrated each step before we took it on ourselves and she shared lots of helpful tips and shortcuts! In between steps as the dough was rising, we had lots of fun talking and getting to know each other better. If you are interested in focaccia making, there is another class scheduled for Friday, June 17th from 6-8:30 PM. Register HERE.
For my first attempt, I tried to get fancy with a Pinterest post for inspiration. Using olives, pepper slices, red onion, parsley, green onion, and tomatoes I attempted a floral scene of sorts. For my second batch, I went a more traditional route with a mixture of olives, red onion, and feta cheese. While the first one looked pretty, the flavors of my second attempt were more evenly dispersed.
If your preference is for sweets, be sure to check out Ann’s macaron, pie, swiss roll, or other classes. Need a unique gift and know someone that would love to take a class? Gift cards make for a wonderful, experiential surprise!
Thanks so much for your likes, shares, and follows! Until next time,