Food lover's day trips

Sweet Life of a Baker, Sherrill

Andrea 3 sweet life
Do you ever wonder what becomes of the contestants on competition shows like “The Great British Bake Off’’ and its stateside spinoff, “The Great American Baking Show,’’ after the cameras stop rolling and all the episodes have aired?

Andrea Maranville, of Sherrill (Oneida County), a self-taught home cook and baker who appeared on season four of “The Great American Baking Show’’ in 2018, has been immersed in both the art of baking and the hard work of getting a small business up and running.

She was named “star baker’’ on the first week of the show -- when she impressed the judges with her cinnamon blueberry coffee cake and great grandmother’s chocolate cake -- and after weeks of challenging "bakes'' finished as a runner-up. Four years later, she has transitioned to life as a professional baker in her hometown. In October of 2021, Maranville opened Sweet Life of a Baker, a boutique bakery and cafe in “the Silver City.’’ 

I’ve been following Andrea on social media since I heard her interviewed on the Eat Local New York podcast, and took a drive to Sherrill recently to have lunch at Sweet Life of a Baker. I had the opportunity to meet her – thanks to her mother, who was helping out at the bakery and facilitated an introduction. Andrea was coming off of a busy Mother's Day weekend that left the dessert case empty and said she was gearing up for graduations, weddings and other special events.

Sweet life quicheLunch did not disappoint. I was immediately drawn to the bakery case and cake servers filled with muffins, scones, cookies, cakes, macarons, brownies, biscotti, creme brulee, panna cotta and other treats, but knew I’d be getting a dessert to take home and enjoy later. So I went somewhat light for lunch with a spinach and Gruyere quiche for one, which is built on the all-butter, flaky crust Andrea perfected during pie week on “The Great American Baking Show.”  The quiches are served with your choice of mixed greens (with citrus or balsamic vinaigrette) or a cup of mixed berries. If you’re dining in, like I did, a server will heat up the quiche and bring it to you.

Other lunch offerings include a soup of the day, several salads (including a wedge salad and panzanella salad) and gourmet deli sandwiches, like ham off-the-bone with Hornbacher cheese from Callee 1945, a cheese shop in Oneida, served on bread from Salt City Bread in Manlius. Nothing too fancy or froufrou – Andrea’s approach is to serve high-quality foods she and her family love and to support other small businesses. The housemade chips served with sandwiches are from Crust Kitchen and Bar in Rome. And the coffee served at Sweet Life of a Baker is a special “baker’s blend” roasted for the cafe by Cracked Bean Roastery in Syracuse (where you can also find Andrea's baked goods). Click here for the lunch menu.

I brought my planner with me and got some work done from the seating area. Andrea has given the small space, with seating for about 20 people, the ambiance of a home dining room, with wooden tables, upholstered chairs and area rugs. Now that it’s warming up, there’s also patio seating.

Sweet life cheesecake
As for dessert: I brought home a sweet little four-inch cheesecake. It was dense and rich, with a graham cracker crust on the bottom and berries and swirls of whipped cream on top. It was the perfect size for sharing.

Sweet Life of a Baker takes its name from the food blog Andrea launched in 2015. She’s a wife and mom of four children and was looking for a creative outlet and a place to share recipes. Look how far she’s come in that time. When your travels take you to the Oneida area, be sure to check her place out.

Sweet Life of a Baker is at 552 Sherrill Road, Sherrill. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday. Custom orders are available. Information: 315-280-4975

Sweet life sign

All photos © Margaret McCormick unless otherwise indicated.






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