Lynnfield's newest eatery, Christine's Cafe and Confections, opened for business this week in the space formerly occupied by Mia Cucina.
Christine Picciarello, a Lynnfield native, recently purchased the business from previous owner Dave Mineo. She is a graduate of and also attended the as a child.
Picciarello brings nearly three decades of culinary experience to her new role as a local business owner. "It's all I've ever wanted to do," she says of her work in this field. She lives in Lynnfield with her husband and two children, and her mother is a town resident as well.
Further cementing the local connection, Picciarello reports that three employees from the former Mia Cucina - Vivian Sardy, Cindy Tammaro and Sara Swift - are all Lynnfield residents who will be staying on at the new establishment.
Lynnfield's newest business owner spent the last 14 years working as an executive pastry chef for a high-end caterer, La Bonne Maison in Watertown and earlier in her career was a pastry chef at the Top of the Cove restaurant - which in its time was one of the leading restaurants in La Jolla, California. Today it is known as George's At The Cove.
This experience will be put to work well in Picciarello's new business, since she plans to offer a broad assortment of muffins, cookies, brownies and cupcakes, as well as fresh sub rolls and loaves of scali bread for sale from the North End.
"I love cookies," she told Lynnfield Patch, adding that she will be offering different varieties each week and that she also closely watches for new trends and ideas in the culinary industry.
Other menu items will include two varieties of freshly-made chicken salad, and black forest ham with gruyere cheese on a croissant.
For breakfast, customers can expect the full range of traditional options, including omelets, pancakes and on weekends, Belgian waffles. The business is expected to be open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"We're trying for a bit of healthier, but I'm also going to do the yummy homestyle food," said Picciarello.
On Saturdays, customers can also look forward to enjoying fresh donuts from Donna's Donuts in Tewksbury, which is owned by her uncle Billy Wilson - a member of Lynnfield's over-40 softball league.These donuts have a strong regional following, having been praised by the Phantom Gourmet as well as Billy Costa of "TV Diner" fame.
Picciarello is also experimenting with extended weekend hours by planning to be open for the final two Sundays of September.
"I hope it becomes a nice meeting place or hangout," said Picciarello.