For husband-and-wife baking team Justin and Maria Wroblewski, Evans City was the place to be—or at least to bake.
Earlier in August, Tin Man Sweets, the couples' labor of love, opened its doors in the heart of the borough on East Main Street.
The Renfrew-based couple said they ran the business from their home for four years until the project became too much for their at-home bakery. Instead of ditching pastries and moving on, the Wroblewskis decided to kick it up a notch.
Today, the couple owns their first storefront business.
“This has been [Justin’s] dream for years,” said Maria Wroblewski while standing behind the counter at Tin Man Sweets. “We kind of decided to take that jump and open a store.”
Justin Wroblewski is the "Tin" behind the Tin Man—or rather he’s “Uncle Tin” to his wife’s young niece, who couldn’t fully pronounce her uncle's name.
He has been baking for 20 years, learning most of what he knows from his mother and grandmother, he said. Many of the recipes used at Tin Man Sweets have been passed down through family or are his own creation.
Before opening the shop, he put in 13-hour days as a businessman working in downtown Pittsburgh. That was in addition to his part-time job as cookie maker, dad and husband.
His corporate job has since been cast aside for the cookie business. According to his wife, they’ve never been closer as a family.
“The biggest benefit for me is the self-satisfaction of coming in and working for myself," Justin Wroblewski said. "This is something I love to do."
Even if the shop hours are long—the bakery is open from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and they couple put in way more hours in prepping and baking time— Justin Wroblewski said he has more time to see his two young children during the day than he did before.
“We kind of see the payoff in the long run to spend time together as a family,” Maria Wroblewski said.
Like her husband, Maria Wroblewski has no official training in baking. While its impossible to tell by her cakes, Maria Wroblewski said she only has been making the custom confections for the last year.
“It’s really something that I think is a natural god-given thing,” she said.
Both Wroblewskis agree they’re in the business for the long haul. The couple said they hope to see Tin Man grow and to eventually open up more shops.
“It’s a lot of work but it’s worth it,” Justin Wroblewski said.
So what kind of goodies can you expect at Tin Man Sweets?
- Maria’s custom cakes, including wedding and birthday confections
- Fresh bread
Do you want to check it out?
208 East Main Street, Evans City
Tuesday to Friday: 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
8 a.m. to 2 p.m.