MIKE SPRINGER/Gloucester Daily Times
Melissa Hays, right, and her mother Cristina Hays turn to greet a customer as they prepare baked goods on their very first day of business Friday at the Sticky Fingers bakeshop at Brown's Mall in downtown Gloucester. The mother and daughter bring a great deal of experience and expertise to their business. Melissa is a graduate of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts and Cristina grew up working in her mother and father's bakery in the town of Figline Valdarno, in the foothills of the Chianti region near Florence, Italy. Cristina's grandfather started a bread shop in the late 1800s and her parents expanded it into a full-service bakery. She and her daughter are extending the family tradition at Sticky Fingers, which offers cookies, cakes, sweat breads and other treats. In the photo, Melissa is mixing up the batter for a banana hazelnut bread while her mother makes an amaretto cake that her parents used to make in Italy. Everything at the new shop is baked fresh from scratch. "A lot of people (at other businesses) take things out of a box," says Cristina Hays. "The only thing we take out of a box is the butter, the sugar and the cream."