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Does February in Buffalo have you feeling ‘frosty?’ Check out Frost Artisan Bakery, the hot new bakery at 1197 Niagara Street. Like so many of the delectable products you’ll find in this reimagined boutique bakery subsidiary of Rich Products, Frost is starting from scratch with a new team, new menu, and new name.

Lead Pastry Chef Jasmine Hidalgo invited two talented teammates and former co-workers into her kitchen, where the trio create custom homemade specialty celebration cakes and desserts for all of life’s memorable moments. Craving an afternoon treat or last-minute dessert? Frost has you covered! The bakery case is full of freshly made sweets, including tarts, cakes, scratch cookies, pastries, danish, scones, cinnamon rolls, and homemade brownies. And a cookie artist brings her rare edible art forms to Frost customers.

The opportunity to run Frost brings Chef Jasmine’s career full circle. She spent a few years working in the cafeteria at Rich’s Buffalo-based headquarters after completing an associate degree in Culinary Arts and a certificate in Baking at Erie County Community College in 2005. Setting her sights firmly on the pastry arts, Hidalgo left Rich’s to pursue training and experience in various bakery settings before bringing her talents back to Niagara Street, where she is now satisfying the sweet tooth of Buffalonians at Frost.

Five Questions with Pastry Chef Jasmine Hidalgo

REG: What’s your vision for Frost?

JH: I hope this bakery will become known for two things: beautiful scratch cakes and desserts, and extraordinary flavor. I want people to say, “my cake looked exactly like I wanted it to, but the taste blew my mind.” It’s all about creating that moment and memory for our customers. Beyond our specialty celebration cakes, I want Frost to be where customers go when they’re craving a cannoli or a piece of cheesecake because they know they won’t have to order the entire cake. They can get a slice or try a few different things and discover their new favorite dessert.

REG: Tell us what the name Frost signifies?

JH: I wanted our business name to be catchy and have meaningful connections. I wanted something that would grab people’s attention, and I think Frost does that while immediately drawing a connection to baked goods. You can frost anything: cookies, cupcakes, and cakes. But Frost also ties us to Buffalo. We’re known for our intense winters, so “Frosty” is a familiar feeling when you live in Buffalo. Finally, our name connects us to the historic Rich’s On Top, the innovative frozen, non-dairy whipped topping that started the company more than 75 years ago.

REG: What inspired your love of baking?

JH: I’m Puerto Rican, and family is very important to me and my culture. My family loves to have big celebrations with lots of food and desserts. Both of my parents worked when I was young, and I was lucky enough to spend those days with my grandparents. My grandmother always had me in the kitchen with her, and I remember watching her cook and bake, and I tried to make whatever she made from playdough. I wanted to do the same thing she was doing. I saw the joy it brought her to feed people. She expressed love by offering a good meal, and making sure people felt the love and warmth of sharing that experience. Those are treasured memories. From those early days in my grandparent’s kitchen, I knew I wanted to make people feel loved and appreciated through food for the rest of my life.

REG: What is your favorite dessert?

JH: My favorite dessert is crème brulée; that’s what I always order at a restaurant. That or a fruit tart or pie. I like fruity, creamy things more so than cake and chocolate. In my own kitchen, I like experimenting with crème brulée by infusing different flavors and trying various sugars on top. I also enjoy introducing people to exotic fruits like guava and passionfruit through desserts. I have a great family recipe for Tres Leches cake that I love to make, and I plan to bring that and other flavors from my heritage into Frost, while also putting my creative twists on traditional recipes and flavors.

REG: Where will we find you if you’re not in the bakery?

JH: I’m probably hanging out with my dog, Chuy Max. He’s a five-year-old Yorkie. I am one of those crazy dog mammas! I throw him an elaborate birthday party every year, and I make him special doggie treats – peanut butter and banana is his favorite combination. My dad raised me to be a huge Buffalo Bills fan, and I proudly wear my Diggs jerseys and Chuy has an Allen jersey! People are always surprised to find out that I’m a big Harry Potter fan. I have read all the books, watched all the movies, and been to the theme park. I also love Stranger Things and can’t wait for the next season to premiere.

Frost opened on February 8 at 1197 Niagara Street. The bakery has several featured cakes this month in celebration of love and Valentine’s Day, including a strawberry crunch cake, a chocolate-covered strawberry cake, and a red velvet cheesecake. Stop in and try these indulgent desserts before new features are unveiled next month!