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Hi, I’m Natalia Zarate, the founder of Sweet Ciro, a Dayton, Ohio-based wholesale and direct-to-consumer bakery specializing in sweet treats from my native Argentina. I'd love to share our story with you, a story that's woven into each handmade Alfajor, reflecting a journey of love, hope, and resilience.

Originally from Argentina, my husband Juan and I first moved to Guatemala where he played professional soccer and I pursued my culinary passion by opening an Argentine restaurant, El Diez. We were overjoyed to welcome our first son, Ciro, into the world and equally excited when I became pregnant soon after with our second son Bastian. But as Ciro reached his first birthday, we knew something was not right. Our hearts were shattered when Ciro was eventually diagnosed with Canavan disease - a debilitating, fatal neurological disorder with no cure (at least, not yet!). This devastating news totally upended our lives.  

In a bid for hope, we soon found ourselves traveling to Dayton, Ohio, where Ciro was enrolled in a groundbreaking gene therapy clinical trial at Dayton Children's Hospital. We picked up and left everything behind – our home, dogs, friends, family and a life of relative security – all to give our son a chance at a brighter future.

Ciro underwent brain surgery and received his new gene in July 2022. It was at this  time that Juan and I made the difficult decision to start a new life in Dayton in order to remain close to Ciro’s medical team and to access the expensive, yet vital, physical therapy he so badly requires. The gene therapy gave his brain the potential to learn skills, but it’s the continuous physical therapy that is actually building those skills. Ciro is working hard and showing great benefits so far, but the sacrifices have been immense: I had to sell my restaurant and Juan had to retire from soccer. At the same time, we needed to adjust to a new culture and language with very limited work opportunities.

Yet, inspired by Ciro’s incredible fortitude, this difficult journey has culminated in the creation of Sweet Ciro. Our Alfajores are a unique blend of our Argentine roots, culinary expertise, and the strength we have discovered in the face of this adversity. These treats are more than cultural delicacies; they represent our family's unwavering spirit and love for each other. When you choose Sweet Ciro, you're not just enjoying a delicious treat, you're also supporting our beloved son as he continues to grow, learn, and inspire others with his courage.


Your support is invaluable to us and makes a real difference in our lives. As Sweet Ciro expands, our dream is to support others facing similar challenges in their fight against Canavan disease. Thank you for being a part of our story and for welcoming us into your community. With each Alfajor we bake, we are not just building a business, but a brighter future for our sweet Ciro.

Please consider supporting the Cure Canavan Fund, whose efforts helped launch the clinical trial Ciro participated in and continue to help Canavan kids worldwide with treatment and therapies.

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