Cristina Tortina’s Shop Changing the World One Cupcake At a Time

jmelich    November 7, 2014


Company Name: Cristina Tortina Shop

Industry: Cupcakes Bakerybake1

Contact: Mary Iusso




Mary Iusso opened a cupcake bakery called Cristina’s Tortina Shop in Brampton, Ontario. Their tag line is “Showcase Capabilities”, and their logo is a drawing of Cristina their daughter, that features 3 cupcakes in a stack and 21 polka dots on Cristina’s apron. The polka dots pay homage to trisomy 21 because in Down Syndrome one cell has two 21st chromosomes instead of one. The third 21st chromosome leads to the distinctive characteristics of people with Down syndrome.


The cupcakes with heart shop created by Cristina’s parents, employs people with Down Syndrome, autism and other special needs. Focusing on people with Down Syndrome, serving delicious cupcakes to everyone in the community.  Along with the cupcakes, they also offer cookies, mini pies,  and coffee. In the CTS Events,  you can see some of the staff at work.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mary and interviewing her,while my daughter and I tried her delicious cupcakes. Cristina’s Tortina ‘s Shop had an assortment of fresh and delicious cupcake flavors and the friendly staff made us feel right at home.


bake shop

“I was told not to have any expectations,” Iusso said adding,” Today her daughter is a lively, intelligent and capable child with a set of unique abilities. “So, when the social worker told my husband and I that we shouldn’t expect our child be a lawyer or a doctor, my husband interrupted her and told her that we have two children at home and we are not expecting them to be lawyers or doctors, but respectful human beings.”


down syndrome awareness



When I saw this heart warming news clip tears rolled down my cheeks, I thought to myself that is one proud and lucky mom.   Mary Iusso President and Proud mom to Cristina, is a true inspiration behind Cristina’s Tortina Shop Inc.
The unique  cupcake shop was created in honor of her  daughter Cristina and other individuals with Down syndrome.



“When I read the information, I started to get angry at the way the world was already perceiving this little girl who didn’t even take her first step,” Maria Iusso said.b0749e_1da3ea6123d64229ab5e91fc76b40e60_jpg_srz_311_237_85_22_0_50_1_20_0

“I knew I had to do something in a positive way to showcase my daughter’s capabilities. I love to make cupcakes so we decided to open this store.”

Not only Does Cristina’s Tortina Shop sell the most delicious cupcakes the company creates employment opportunities for people with Down Syndrome, Autism and other Special Needs,  recognizing  the abilities of these individuals.cristina


Cristina’s Tortina Shop will “showcase their capabilities” to customers who visit the shop and enjoy beautifully prepared cupcakes and delicious freshly made desserts and coffee. Cristina Tortina employees will also develop a sense of accomplishment and self-esteem, while learning a skill to make beautiful, unique cupcakes, cookies, specialty cakes, and other desserts as they share their skills with customers developing a sense of leadership as a member of the cupcake team, while contributing to society.


Cristina’s parents had a goal to change the world one cupcake at a time reaching out to society and people with Down Syndrome. Everyone who has heard this heartwarming story  began sharing the news and pressed like to Facebook pages as well as Foursquare, and You Tube, Delicious and Twitter. After City TV News came in and saw what they were doing Cristina’s Facebook page increased from 200 to over 5000 followers.  Cristina’s cupcakes are receiving rave reviews on social media sites and customers are already lined up outside the door, which shows us that when we do something for a good reason the rewards will follow.



Lesson Learned:

When we do something for a good cause the  rewards will follow.

Social media is a valuable tool to help change people lives and bring positive changes in society

Social media can have a very positive effect for new  business owners while saving time and money for companies.

Web References:

When we do something from the heart rewards will follow.

Each of us are unique and capable and we should always be focusing on our strengths

With a loving heart anything is possible


Submitted By: Jeanette Melich, University of Waterloo.

If you have any questions about this article please contact: Jeanette Melich email:


If you have any questions about the content of this article please contact Peter Carr at the University of Waterloo.