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Sweet Dreams



When Hillary Assael and her twin sister, Elissa, opened Armonk’s Sugar Hi (380 Main St; 914.273.4777) in October, it was the realization of a dream 14 years in the making. Hillary, a former Manhattan stylist, had been custom-baking cakes for birthdays, bar mitzvahs, and other special occasions, but “I always dreamed of having a cake studio,” she says. “Armonk doesn’t have an ice cream or candy store. So, living here, we felt there was such a need
for it.”

So far, it seems that she was right. Since opening, business has been booming. “I always try to have my finger on the pulse,” says Hillary. “I’m very aware of Instagrammable foods, and I wanted to do something that was very current.” In just the first eight weeks, the bakery sold thousands of their crazy milkshakes, including a colorful, candy-loaded cotton-candy shake. A Magnolia Bakery-style banana pudding and homemade Pop-Tarts are also popular. “I think people in Westchester are so hungry for the stuff that’s in the city,” explains Hillary. “There aren’t so many places you can get a homemade Pop-Tart.”

Custom cakes are still on the menu, as are kids’ baking classes and parties, including one based on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. Hillary loves watching kids’ reactions when they first see the store. “It’s literally the expression of a kid in a candy shop,” she says. “Your dream comes to life in their faces. It’s a really cool feeling.”