Rocco’s Cupcake Café hosts grand opening


Matthew Brown

A variety of cupcakes line display shelves at the counter inside Rocco’s Cupcake Café on Feb. 4, 2023.

Chloe Cornely, Reporter

With the smell of freshly baked cupcakes and warm lattes wafting out its newly open doors, Rocco’s Cupcake Café is Kent’s newest bakery. The café had its grand opening celebration Saturday.

Will Williams and Cindy Williams wait for the rest of their family to arrive on couches set up in a sitting area at Rocco’s Cupcake Café on Feb. 4, 2023. The couple have traveled all the way from Brewster, Ohio to support the café’s opening. (Matthew Brown)

The store opened with a menu of coffee beverages, cake pops and cupcakes, including Red Velvet, Simply Vanilla, Double Dark Chocolate and more.

People traveled from all over Northeast Ohio to be one of the first customers.

“Our great niece works here. We are waiting for the rest of our family, but this place is awesome,” Cindy Williams from Brewster said. “We were able to try some samples that our niece brought home. We had a great idea to just get one of each.”

In addition to fresh cupcakes and coffee, the store celebrated its grand opening by entering customers in giveaways for free Rocco’s Cupcake Café t-shirts.

“I was so excited to hear about this place opening,” said Lauren Kaleta from Akron. “I got the red velvet cupcake, it was delicious.”

Owner and operator Michela Rocco got her degree at Kent State University in special education. She worked in that field for two years before realizing she wanted to do something different with her life. 

In high school, she worked at her hometown bakery in Painesville, OH. Rocco said she always had a fondness for baking. 

Paula Liedel (center) is one of many customers drawn to Rocco’s Cupcake Café as the store opens its doors for the first time on Feb. 4, 2023. (Matthew Brown)

“I always in the back of my head knew I wanted to open a bakery, but I thought that I couldn’t because I got my degree in special education and that was what I should be doing,” said Rocco. “With the support of my friends and family they told me you should follow your dream and you should do what you want to do.”

Rocco’s Cupcake Café is located at 295 S Water St Suite 108, Kent, OH. It is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Chloe Cornely is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].