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Smiling staff at Opals Confectionery & Bakery

The Gems at Opals

Opals Confectionery has been a constant at Turning Stone Resort Casino since the property opened nearly 30 years ago. The sweet shopp established itself as an instant classic and remains a guest favorite, dishing out goodies and baked goods, coffee drinks and snacks. It also recently won Best Coffee Shop in Casino Player Magazine’s “Best of Dining” awards 2022.

While the treats at Opals certainly are notable, the people who work behind the counter are the ones who truly bring the place to life.

Take Arlene, for example.

Arlene works the counter as a Shop Attendant at Opals, donning the signature pink coat to serve guests with a smile. She joined the team at Turning Stone after working 33 years at Oneida Limited. Her favorite thing about working at Opals? Interacting with guests.

“I love meeting new people, I love keeping old friends close,” she said recently. “Working here is like having a second home.”

Not surprisingly, Arlene cites the baked goods as her second-favorite thing about working at Opals.

Her favorites: Eggnog croissants, a seasonal favorite, Oreo cake, and the crème brulee, which she and her fellow Shop Attendants get to torch to order.

Joann is another Shop Attendant—she has spent 10 years with Oneida Nation Enterprises and has worked at Opals all that time. Despite her longevity, Joann said she still loves it when guests come to Opals for the first time and they’re clearly overwhelmed by the options and how delicious everything looks.

“They look at the cake slices and the baked goods, they look up, and say, ‘I can’t decide,’” she said. “There’s so much variety and it’s all so creative. That’s a good thing. It’s tough to choose from all the deliciousness.”

Joann’s picks for best in shop: almond paste cookies, chocolate half-moon cookies, and carrot cake.

Supervisor James Notartomaso, who has spent the last six years running Opals, said he appreciates the way Opals attendants are known for anticipating guest needs.

“If you don’t know what you want, our attendants will ask you what type of sweets you like or offer to pair your dessert choice with a beverage,” he said. “We really work hard to make sure we’re one with our guests. That makes a difference.”

James has a sweet tooth and said he likes everything in the Opals case. Atop his list: Our cheesecakes and seasonal goodies, such as flower pot cupcakes with hand-sculpted chocolate, cookie crumble, and more. Because he’s an Italian from Long Island, James said his no. 1 choice is the chocolate chip cannoli. Once a cannoli guy, always a cannoli guy, apparently. Good thing James works at Opals.

 

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