CITRUS PARK — Growing up in Peru, Milouska Kennis loved baking. With family from Italy and France, she learned early on how to meld cultures in the kitchen.
After relocating to Orlando from South America in 2001, Kennis decided to turn the love of her youth into a career. She attended the Notter School of Pastry Arts. A move to Tampa last year would push the pendulum of her dreams even further. After some prodding by her children, Kennis opened a bakery of her own.
Enter Sweeties by Mili. The French-inspired bakery opened on June 29 in Citrus Park at 11961 Sheldon Road.
"My mom and I bake everything fresh every day," Kennis said.
Inside, the bakery is decorated like an elegant Parisian cafe replete with a crystal chandelier. But the bakery menu provides a cross-cultural experience in confection. Kennis makes cupcakes, cannolis, ganache brownies, truffles, cake bites and tiramisu. Fresh coffee, smoothies, cappuccino and ice cream round out the offerings.
Free wi-fi makes Mili a draw for telecommuters. Kennis also takes orders for wedding and special celebration cakes.
A menu standout is the caramel cookie. "It's like a cookie with dulce de leche inside," Kennis said. "That's something from South America."
Sweeties by Mili is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday.
Visit sweetiesbymili.com; (813) 298-0492.
Westchase barbershop has a retro edge
Step inside Rigby's Barbershop and you're transported to a bygone time when going into a men's barbershop meant warm towels and straight razor shaves. That's the vibe owner Shawna Struble wanted when she opened the Westchase barbershop last December. Struble, a barber for 17 years, wanted to provide an experience for men similar to what her great-grandfather experienced in the 1920s. A picture of Struble's great-grandfather getting a haircut from 1923 is displayed on the wall inside the barber shop.
Located at 11655 Countryway Blvd., just off Race Track Road, Rigby's Barbershop offers personalized haircuts for men and boys, beard trims, shampoo and straight razor shaves (on Mondays and Saturdays). In addition to the cuts, clients can enjoy a cold craft beer; flat-screen televisions are always tuned to sports.
Prices range from $16 for a regular haircut for men to $35 for a straight-razor shave. Beard trims are included in haircuts.
Rigby's Barbershop is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Visit rigbyknowsbest.webs.com or its Facebook page; (813) 855-4549.
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