Stay-at-home mom Sarah DeShazo always dreamed of having her own bakery. Now that dream is reality. In 2019, she and her husband, Jon, opened Sugar Sweet, a bakery and boutique cafe in the Commerce Center at King’s Charter.
She refined the art of baking earlier in her marriage when the couple moved to Seattle in 2005 and she graduated from the baking and pastry program at The Art Institute of Seattle. She followed up that training with a degree in business.
“I baked around the holidays, but I never spent a lot of time baking when I was in Seattle. I worked in inventory management and buying,” she says. “I started thinking about what I wanted to do. I was discouraged after bakery school between the amount of work and the pay at bakeries. I figured I could only do this if I went into business for myself.”
After giving birth to her son Jack, she decided to stay at home and raise him. When he turned ten, she felt it was time for her to act on her dream.
At first all she saw was obstacles — money, time commitment, and the process of starting the business. “I finally ignored all of that,” she says. “I thought if I’m going to do this, just do it. My husband was such a big help. He did most of the renovations himself. Our neighbors also helped us.”
DeShazo opened Sugar Sweet in 2019. During the process, she got together all of the Pinterest boards she had created over the years and handed them over to an interior designer.
The finished result reflects DeShazo’s vision — vintage industrial with a twist of romantic, farmhouse-chic charm. “It has been important to me to keep the identity of the place and not have it look like everything else,” she says.
One of her employees, who is majoring in furniture design, does all the cafe’s menus, chalk boards, and coloring sheets for kids.
“We have some of her art hanging up in the restaurant,” says DeShazo.
Cakes, pies and milkshakes, oh my!
When it comes to food, Sugar Sweet’s menu has evolved over the past three years. The centerpiece of the menu is DeShazo’s tasty cakes. “I’ve always liked American-style cakes. I very rarely do European tarts,” she says.
Cake slices are generous in size, often overshadowing the plate with a masterful blend of creamy icing and moist goodness.
“In a way I’ve let customers decide our mainstay cakes,” she says. “We went with our best sellers — carrot cake, double chocolate and unicorn rainbow chip cake. We want to have something our customers can count on.”
DeShazo also takes orders for pies and cakes as well as cookie trays at Thanksgiving and Christmas and sells cake slices and whole cakes all year long. Customers can also order cakes.
“We have a wonderful baker, Jeremy, that works with me,” she says. “He always has new ideas for cakes.”
Sugar Sweet also offers small treats such as cookies, brownies, scones, muffin tops and cinnamon rolls, ice cream, milkshakes and sundaes as well as coffee, boozy milkshakes and local beer and wine.
During the pandemic they began online ordering, curbsidecake.com, for customers who want to pick up or have their order brought to them curbside. “During COVID we also started doing cookie kits for kids to do at home, but we haven’t done those in a while,” DeShazo says.
Her husband works at the bakery every day during his off time from Virginia Commonwealth University. “He comes in in the mornings before I am awake. He gets the scones and muffin tops, etc. ready,” she says. “He leaves at 6:30 a.m. when I come in. He also does all the ingredient runs. He does so much. I wouldn’t be able to do this without him.”
Her son will stop in and help as well.
Last spring, DeShazo’s mom and sister who live in Massachusetts came to see the bakery and cafe for the first time. “It was really cool for them to see it,” she says. “I was very proud. It was a big deal, especially since my mom hadn’t seen it yet.”
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Visit Sugar Sweet online and check out the shop on FB and Instagram.