DaisyMoon Bakery spreads the joy of baked goods to all.
Everyone secretly wishes their childhood dream would come true. Nadia Caterina just brought her childhood aspirations to life by opening her very own pastry shop, DaisyMoon Bakery. “Ever since I was little, I always wanted a bakery full of beautiful desserts and pastries,” she recalls.
Caterina learned her love of baking growing up in a big Italian family where food was always the topic at hand. She became the head baker at Morgantown’s Terra Cafe. “That gave me a really good taste of what a baker’s lifestyle is like,” she says.
Then, in an unfair twist of fate, she developed a sensitivity to gluten—a sticky protein present in wheat and some other grains—and had to stop working at the café. But she continued to bake for close friends and family. She came to think that what seemed to be a silly childhood dream could actually become a reality. “It all started with what I love to do—making people happy with desserts,” Caterina says.
The name DaisyMoon combines Caterina’s favorite things: daisies, her favorite flowers, and the moon, a powerful image for her as a woman because of its cycles and patterns. The word represents joy and a place of happiness to her, and that’s her goal for the bakery. “It’s not a field of flowers and it’s not a full moon, but it’s a place where anyone can go to feel special and at home,” Caterina says.
Open August 1, DaisyMoon offers a wide selection of pastries including éclairs, daisy doughnuts, and fruit tarts as well as a variety of breads, cakes, cookies, truffles, and pies. And because Caterina wants to share the joy of dessert with everyone, including those with gluten and other food sensitivities, everything is gluten-free— although you wouldn’t know it. She works hard to create gluten-free recipes that taste as good as their standard counterparts. For instance, DaisyMoon’s bread is created from a mixture of 12 flours, including almond flour and pectin powder, and takes 20 minutes to mix correctly. Caterina puts just as much effort into every DaisyMoon dessert. “There’s a balance between selling what I grew up eating that brought me the most joy and making gluten-free items that a gluten-sensitive person usually cannot enjoy,” she says. “A lot of the recipes that I use are naturally gluten-free, so you’re not missing much.”
Caterina’s favorite pastries to bake are French macarons, but a simple rainy day can halt the process. “Everything, including the weather and my hair, has to fall in the right place before I can make them,” she says. “It’s the most frustrating, but I like the challenge.” She also enjoys the challenge of special orders to meet customers’ particular needs. “I want to keep it open for them to ask for what they desire,” she says.
DaisyMoon is first and foremost a delicious bakery. It’s also an opportunity for more people to enjoy desserts, Caterina says. She imagines a customer walking in and nervously asking if anything is gluten-free, and she excitedly waves her hand and responds, “Everything.”
Written by Kristen Uppercue
Photographed by Carla Witt Ford