The Shop Behind the Truck: Sugar Rush's Home Base, Sweetness Bakeshop
A couple weeks back we showcased some of the store's inventive custom-made fondant cakes -- but there's a lot more to be found in the inviting, cool-colored space. First off, there are, surprise, savory items! A range of sandwiches and other simple lunch fare keeps the suburban spot bustling even at lunchtime.
There's another important fact about Sweetness worth pointing out to party people. Should the sugar craving strike in the wee hours, it's the only bakery around open late -- "until the last person leaves" on Fridays and Saturdays, which is usually around 1 a.m.
|Sweetness' key lime pie shot|
Sweetness Bakeshop and Cafe. 9549 Sunset Drive, Miami. Open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 10 a.m. "till the last person leaves" on Fridays and Saturdays; 11 a.m.to 7 p.m. Sundays. Closed Mondays. 305-271-7791; sweetnessbakeshop.net
New Times: How long has your shop been open? Did any of you have a formal culinary background, and if not, how did you decide to take the leap into opening a brick-and-mortar store?
Stephanie Perez-Diaz: None of us have had any formal culinary training. We grew up with my mom always baking; it was something that became natural to us. We toyed with the idea of opening a store for a while. We tested the waters out first by working from home until the demand got too big and we were basically forced into opening a store.
|On our last visit, the mini cupcakes were selling briskly even at early lunchtime.|
We rotate our flavors every day; usually we pick our flavors the morning of. Not having a set menu allows us to be more spur-of-the-moment with our flavors. If I see a mango vendor on the street on my way into the store, that'll be the flavor for the day. We try to take inspiration from the seasons, pop culture, and what our customers request and recommend.
We're always experimenting in the kitchen, but Mondays (the one day the store is closed) is usually the day we're all back there testing out new ideas, whether it be a cupcake or dessert.
On your web site, you specifically note that you use butter in your buttercream (so it's not pure white) -- so it seems that ingredients are important to you. What other high-quality ingredients are you proud to use?
We don't cost-cut when it comes to putting out a quality product. We pride ourselves in using high-quality ingredients such as pure Madagascar bourbon vanilla, buttermilk, pure cane sugars, fresh fruits (and veggies sometimes too!), whipping cream, whole grain flours, and the best chocolates from around the world. We use different types and brands of chocolate depending on what we're using them for.
|A cupcake ode to Miami, the Guayabera (guava-filled, of course)|
It changes pretty often. For right now it's the champagne, which is a vanilla bean cake, filled with champagne sabayon, topped with champagne buttercream. It was a flavor we created for New Year's.
Finally, what new items are in development for the shop and/or the truck that customers should look out for?
That's tough. We're always working on new stuff for the store and truck; it's a matter of which makes the cut! We've been working on making "G.O.A.Twiches," which is our G.O.A.T. chocolate chip cookie, sandwiched with ice cream in the middle.
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