Where did your passion for baking come from?

My mother was German, and she had a pastry table. She showed me how to knead breads and make creams.

Darlene Jones, 58
Owner, The Suisse Shop
2119 Polaris Parkway
614-846-5102

You were a registered nurse for 17 years, then an interior designer. Your husband convinced you -- an avid cook and baker -- to check out a bakery that was for sale. Now you've been at this for six years?
I never thought I'd work this hard at this age! (laughing)

The original Suisse Shop was opened by a Swiss lady, then run by a German lady, then an Italian lady, yes?
And now an American lady! Although we still follow some of the European recipes.

Where did your passion for baking come from?
My mother was German, and she had a pastry table. She showed me how to knead breads and make creams.

So what all do you make?
The main game is our cakes and European tortes. All of our products are made from scratch using the best ingredients. My mom always said your product is only as good as its ingredients. I want to have the absolute best product you can get. I would be embarrassed to put out a product that I did not absolutely love.

What are some examples of your work?
We do muffins with cream cheese and fresh strawberries in them. We do brownies that are made with three types of chocolate and they're dipped in chocolate ganache. We do Kentucky tortes and we use a really good bourbon in them. We do peanut butter cup cookies, with an actual peanut butter cup in them. We do princess bars that have hazelnuts and oatmeal and real butter.

And everything's fresh?
If you're going to get the calories today, make it worth it! I don't have preservatives. My products are made fresh.

You pride yourself on offering new items for holidays. What do you have for Easter?
We make these cakes that look like an egg (and) we're a custom bakery, so we can put in it anything people want... I make Easter egg cookies. We do a cookie that looks like an Easter basket and it's got little jelly beans in it.

You can even package colorfully-decorated sugar cookies for baskets, yes?
We can put these in a plastic bag so you can put it in a basket. Kids get such a charge out of this sort of stuff!

Easter aside, what's your most popular product?
The Suisse Almond. It's an almond cake, and I don't use almond extracts -- I use real almond paste. It's filled with a layer of seedless raspberry marmalade (which is Swiss imported), a layer of French butter cream, and then it's topped with French butter cream and wrapped with toasted almonds.

So what's your personal favorite?
It's so hard! I love the triple sin, because I'm a nut freak, and this is filled with the best chocolate mousse.