I grew up on a quiet side street off South Pine Creek Road. The location was great -- close to schools, the beach, the railroad station.

For me, however, the best part was the proximity to Devore's Bakery on the Post Road. Nearly every Sunday after Mass at St. Anthony's Church, my mother would take me to the bakery and we'd buy a dozen doughnuts and a half-dozen hard rolls, which my brothers and sisters would make quick work of. It was the best part of Sunday. Devore's closed nearly seven years ago, and I still mourn the loss of having a local, mom-and-pop bakery to go to when the urge for a giant chocolate chip cookie strikes.

Now, however, it's time for the residents of the Greenfield Hill section of town to experience their own bakery bliss. Fairfielder Michelle Jaffee opened Sweet & Simple, a cozy little bakery, in February, although her business actually started in 2009.

"I'm a home baker," said Jaffee. "For my fortieth birthday, I gave myself a cooking class at the French Culinary Institute. I realized I just loved baking." One class led to another, and she decided she wanted to start a small business from home. "I thought farmers markets would be a good place to sell, but I didn't understand that in Connecticut you couldn't sell food baked out of a home kitchen."

Fortunately, Jaffee was able to find a commercial kitchen for rent in Milford. She fired up the ovens and began selling her goodies to places like Oscar's Delicatessen in Westport, Cinch in Fairfield and Whole Foods.

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THE SCOOP
Sweet & Simple
75 Hillside Road, Fairfield / 203-292-8992
www.sweetandsimple.com
Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"It all happened very organically," she said. "It's like that book, `If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.' " The popular children's book tells the story of how, if you give a mouse a cookie, he'll want a glass of milk to go with it, and if you give him a glass of milk, he'll want to look in a mirror to make sure he doesn't have a milk mustache, and so on and so on. With Jaffee, she took a class, then she wanted to start a home business. She started a wholesale business and then wanted to open a bricks-and-mortar shop.

"I looked everywhere from Bridgeport to Westport," Jaffee said. "I couldn't have asked for a better spot." Tucked into a corner of the Greenfield Hill Shopping Center on Hillside Road, you're almost transported back in time when you step through the door.

Old-fashioned cookie jars line the shelves, and an antique cabinet houses jadeite cake stands, glass candy jars and milk bottles. The air is heavy with the aroma of real butter.

"I make traditional, American-style items," said Jaffee. There are big cookies -- chocolate chip, marble, confetti and oatmeal raisin, and little cookies -- rugelach, Mexican wedding cakes and sugar cookies. There are bars, like brownies and blondies, and breakfast pastries like blueberry muffins, banana nut muffins, maple oat scones and apple turnovers.

And then there are custom cakes that can be ordered, anything from classic yellow and chocolate to carrot, coconut, lemon and spice with frostings such as Swiss meringue butter cream, white chocolate, peanut butter and mocha. There's something for everyone, even Fido. On the counter, there's a jar of homemade dog biscuits. "It took us two months to perfect the recipe," said Jaffee. "Furry friends need a treat, too."

Setting up shop has been hard work for Jaffee and her team. "It's been a rough couple of months," she said. "We put in 12-, sometimes 17- hour days. But everyone pitches in," she said. "Everyone does the dishes, everyone takes out the trash." So far, though, it's all been worth it. "I know a lot of regulars now," she said. "I love being the neighborhood bakery."

THE SCOOP

Sweet & Simple

75 Hillside Road, Fairfield / 203-292-8992

www.sweetandsimple.com

Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.