Spreading the sugar love one sweet treat at a time.
The Little Cart from Scratch
In 2008 I was one of the culinary pioneers who took my dream of owning my own place, put it on wheels, and started a national trend. From my little 8-by-12-foot cart in downtown Portland, Oregon, I served up my own brand of sugar goodness, one that was drenched in salted caramel, dark chocolate ganache, and, yes, impaled with potato chips.
My cupcakes quickly became legendary -- as did my passionfruit-ginger floats, my creamy coconut panna cottas, and my triple-threat chocolate cookies. Soon I was posing for national press like Travel + Leisure, Saveur, Sunset Magazine, The New York Times, The O Network, and book publishers were bidding for my first cookbook: “The Sugar Cube: 50 Deliciously Twisted Treats from the Sweetest Little Food Cart on the Planet” (Chronicle Books won, and the book entered the world in April 2012).
Fast forward five years. It’s 2013 and my dreams -- and my cadre of customers -- have grown much too big for such a tiny cart. I have a constant stream of ideas and I need space to bring them to life. Not only that, you, my customers, need space to hang out and savor them.
It’s time to go brick-and-mortar!
Many Delicious Treats, One Mission
I’m already over the first hurdle. I’ve found the perfect spot on Portland’s eclectic Alberta Street where I’ll be able to expand my cart menu, adding from-scratch breakfasts, pastries and the first-ever dessert CSA (Community Sweets Alliance). Eventually, I plan to package my sweets and sauces, too. With the new space, the possibilities are endless.
I need help from you to make it all happen. Funds will be used for much needed, new kitchen equipment, electrical improvements, and the build-out of our dining area, which will include cozy banquette seating.
The very thought of creating my treats in a space that has proper plumbing, central air and room to move is utterly mind blowing. But even better is the thought that my customers will finally have a place to sit back, relax, and bask in all the sugar love I have to offer.
My Sweet Dream
I’ve always valued good, handcrafted food, made with love and care. My mom was an avid baker and my dad is an old-school butcher. I grew up watching my parents, natives of Switzerland and Denmark, build their own businesses from scratch with very little means but a lot of determination.
Those first impressions are what inspired me to set out on my own cooking adventure. I went culinary school in Chicago for baking pastry and from there I worked in some of the very best restaurants in the city, including Trio and The Ritz-Carlton. I learned early on about dedication and what it takes to really make something of your own. I was surrounded by unbelievably talented mentors, to whom I still owe a deep debt of gratitude for helping me become the baker that I am.
When I left my Midwest roots and settled in Portland, I continued working for other amazing restaurants and bakeries in town, honing my skills. But by 2008 I craved creative autonomy. I decided that it was time to start something of my own. What I lacked in funds, I made up for in drive. I started small -- really small -- by purchasing an old 8-by-12-foot food cart. I wanted to make fabulous things, build relationships with my customers, and challenge myself like I've never done before.
I can honestly say that these past five years have been a wild, sweet ride. Starting my business has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done because through it I’ve been able to build a community. It has connected me with amazing local artisans, farmers and a huge, supportive fan base -- all of whom keep me inspired.
This next opportunity is long overdue. If you’ve enjoyed the goodness that has come out of my tiny truck, then imagine all the magical possibilities that I can conjure up in this new space! I’ve got a whole lotta love, sass and sugar goodness I can’t wait to send your way.
Sweet & Salty Love
Spot the Sugar Cube in...
ARTWORK + DESIGN
- Jason Graham
- D.Wickham Designs
- Dina Avila
- Chronicle Books
- John Valls Photography
- David L. Reamer
- Lisa Warninger
- Annalou Vincent
- Antoinette Bruno
- Raymond "flash" Howard
- Shannon Guirl
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
There are always bumps in the road while starting a business. I am confident to say that my unique experience owning and baking (YES baking in the cart!) out of a tiny food cart has given me some serious trouble shooting skills. Anywhere from cooking challenges, like catering double weddings on a busy Saturday, in sweltering 95 degree heat to defrosting and repairing busted, frozen water pipes in the middle of winter. I've seen and done it all!
100 square feet does not offer a lot of luxury, but it sure does teach you a thing or two about how to deal with tricky situations! It's also character building and you gotta have a good sense of humor to laugh through the tough times! All of these past experiences has helped shape me into a better business owner and I know I can stand up to any challenges that come my way.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
Twisted Toll house Level: What does this mean for you? Only the BESTEST, buttery deliciousness...that's what! We took the classic Toll house chocolate chip cookie and gave it a sweet makeover. Rich, bittersweet, chocolate chips collide with our favorite local roasted hazelnuts, from Freddy Guys. If you are sweet enough to donate at this level you will receive a half-dozen box of these babies. AND, because we heart you so much we will also throw in a Sugar + Love = Happy! sticker. *Shipping not included.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
Triple Threat Level: If you've never experienced one of our famous Triple Threat cookies, now is your chance! Our triple chocolate chunk, espresso and pecan sandwich cookies are loved so much that they were even featured in Sunset Magazine. These chocolate bombs will kick you in the pants...in a good way of course :) If you are generous enough to donate at this level, you will receive a baker's dozen of these devilishly good cookies and a jar of our house made, super deluxe salted caramel sauce. Made with LOVE and with our favorite, local sea salt from Jacobsen Salt Company. You will also receive a lovely Sugar + Love = Happy! sticker. P.S. Dip those bad boys into the salted caramel sauce...OMG! *Shipping not includedEstimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
Magic Box of Goodies Level: Now were gonna have some fun! Imagine a beautiful box, full of of all kinds of delectable's?! If you are awesome enough to donate at this level, you will receive the following: One jar of our super deluxe salted caramel sauce, 1 jar of our house made hot fudge sauce, a Sugar + Love = Happy! sticker, a bag of our amazing black + white sesame brittle, a dozen of our irresistible Rosemary's Baby cookies (citrus, rosemary shortbread) and your very own signed copy of my first cookbook, The Sugar Cube: 50 Deliciously Twisted Treats From The Sweetest Little Food Cart On The Planet, by Chronicle Books. Holy box of shenanigans! *Shipping not includedEstimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
Golden Ticket Level: If you are FANTASTICAL enough to donate at this level, we know you don't mess around and neither do we! At this level, this gets you a trip to our shop and a full tour of the Wonka factory. We will also send you home with a giant box of goodies from the bakery, so much so that you'll probably have to share with someone you love. It's really all about sharing the SUGAR LOVE anyway!! You will also take home, a signed copy of my cookbook, The Sugar Cube and two jars of our super deluxe salted caramel sauce. Swoon! If you're out of state, no worries! We will hook you up!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
Super Gooey Awesomeness Level: WOW! We can't even begin to thank you enough for your generosity! If you donate at this level, it's time for you and I to spend a little one on one time together...how about a private baking class with yours truly! At this level, I would love to invite you and a friend back into the kitchen for a 2 hour baking class, where we can have all kinds of fun, making some butter, sugar and flour magic! I will also send you home with a signed copy of my cookbook, The Sugar Cube, a box of goodies from the bakery and a 1 year subscription to our CSA program. YES! Community Sweets Alliance has officially been established and now you can enjoy a years worth of sugary awesomeness! Each month we will send you (if local- pick up only please) a box of lovingly made, seasonally fresh pastries. Every month you will be dazzled by our inspiration and we sincerely can't wait to spoil you! XOXOEstimated delivery:
- (30 days)