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Sweet Tone’s Desserts charms Astoria with unique flavors at local pop-ups

Photo courtesy of Sweet Tone’s

June 7, 2024 By Jessica Militello

Sweet Tone’s Desserts has been making a name for itself lately in the Astoria community. They sell their gluten—and dairy-free treats at pop-up events and businesses in the neighborhood.

With sweets that have delicious flavors like matcha lavender and orange pistachio, it’s no wonder their treats have been making the rounds lately, with local business owners more than happy to offer them a space to help them spread the word ever since they had their first pop-up event at Earth and Me back in September.

Photo courtesy of Sweet Tone’s

Right now, they bake and sell everything from olive oil cakes, brownies, and cookies, as well as vegan pop tarts made from organic ingredients that offer a mix of childhood nostalgia and a delicious treat without the guilt that comes from eating the store-made brand. Some of their pop tart flavors have been wild strawberry, brown sugar, and Earl Grey. Their olive oil cakes have also been a big hit with flavors like cardamom rose, toasted almond, and Earl Grey lemon with lavender glaze, to name a few.

“We started with Earth and Me, and from the beginning, they were super supportive,” said owner Toni Critelli. “Then we started to connect with Sam [Kasarala] in the back, the owner of ChaiWalla, and he said, ‘I love your stuff, I’d love to carry it,’ and I think that’s where the community started to build.”

Photo courtesy of Sweet Tone’s

The small business is run by Astoria-based couple Critelli and her boyfriend Mike Mroz who first started experimenting with baking during the pandemic days when everyone was working from home with not much to do. In the Fall of last year they decided to take it to the next step by starting a brand and selling their desserts. They liked the idea of making desserts in small batches to not only be environmentally friendly but to keep their goods fresh and made with real ingredients that they could feel good about selling to the public. Presently, they bake from a small kitchen in their home while they both juggle full-time jobs. Critelli works as a content writer for St. John’s University, and Mroz is a music producer.

When selecting other brands and businesses to collaborate with, they try to ensure that they are collaborating with others who have similar goals in helping others in the community and providing sustainable and environmentally friendly products. Some of the other Astoria businesses they’ve worked with so far have been Astoria Giftbox, Fern Botanica, Brass Owl, Our House, and Incasa, just to name a few.

“We try to work with other brands that are also aligned to our values,” said Mroz. “It’s dope because the community is receptive to that kind of stuff, and while we have to make money, I want it to be something I can actually feel good about giving to my mom. I wouldn’t feel bad giving it to someone else’s mom or just someone else in general-I couldn’t sell something like that.”

Photo courtesy of Sweet Tone’s

While the couple regularly participate in pop-up events, presently, a fresh batch of their goods can be found every Saturday and Sunday at ChaiWalla Café inside Earth and Me, and customers can also make personal orders, which they can pick up in Astoria on weekends.

According to Critelli, another project they are working on is compiling a list of local shops where they can start regularly hosting unique destination pickup order locations. They will eventually announce this via their Instagram account.

“We’re actually super excited about that because that’s going to be even more tailored to our loyal customers and then we’re also going to expand with some coffee options like cold brew,” said Mroz. Critelli added, “I think the next event after that, we’ll probably keep working with Astoria Gift Box; we’ve been doing pop-ups with her [owner Anna Buckland], and then 31st Ave Open Street.”

Photo courtesy of Sweet Tone’s


*This story first published in the June issue of BORO Magazine.

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