The Sushiholic

Smart Choice Restaurant & Food Lovers

Cake Sweet

Church Ladies hit up The Sweet Life on Staten Island | The Dish

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Betty Merenda of Sunnyside steers her fellow church ladies to various breakfast spots on the Island after daily Mass. This Wednesday, the friends landed at The Sweet Life in Castleton Corners to break bread and chit-chat in the tiny bakery.

Patricia Nilsen recommends the house-made prosciutto sticks at Sweet Life. Pat Hoey vouches for the buttery cookies. And Nancy Brain enjoys fresh, handmade Kaiser rolls and scones. Yet the women agree that part of their love for Sweet Life comes also for its owners, Grace and Gene Provenzano.

Grace and Gene Provenzano, owners of The Sweet Life (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

South Beach natives Grace and Gene are high school sweethearts. They established The Sweet Life in November of 2016 and Gene built out the store’s interior himself. The couple takes pride in using Staten Island-made ingredients including those from Egger’s Ice Cream Parlor in West Brighton and cheeses crafted at Joe Mozz in Port Richmond.

Sweet Life Bakery

Fresh Kaiser rolls (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

Specialities of the bake house are cookies — black and whites, butter-toffee, red velvet and varieties of biscotti including anisette — plus Linzer tarts. Gluten-free selections and custom sugar cookies also are popular. There are a few tables at which to nosh on bagels or fresh pastries like cannoli, crumb cake and muffins. Sweet Life makes its own sourdough, Italian bread and soft rolls. To keep things exciting for the regulars, Gene presents occasional delicacies such as chocolate, Asiago and cranberry loaves plus sopresatta-cheese sticks.

Sweet Life Bakery

Cheddar-herb biscuits (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

To see more of what’s coming from The Sweet Life’s kitchen check out The Dish this week. And play along with Name That Restaurant! on Friday, June 27 at 11:30 a.m. with Richie Holmes from Juicy Lucy. That is the final installment of a show sponsored by the Ocean Breeze barbecue restaurant. On Wednesday, June 30, there will be a “Farewell Party” to Bruno’s NYC Bakery which will serve its final day on Forest Avenue on July 3, a show broadcast on the Staten Island Advance Facebook platform.

Sweet Life Bakery

The Sweet Life was built by Gene Provenzano, a self-taught baker who established the business with his wife, Grace. (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

The Sweet Life is located at 1676 Victory Blvd., Castleton Corners; 718-727-CAKE, SweetLifeVakeShopsSI. It opens Tuesday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pamela Silvestri is Advance Food Editor. She can be reached at [email protected].

Sweet Life Bakery

The Sweet Life is located at 1676 Victory Blvd., Castleton Corners. (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

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