Friday, May 3, 2013

Violet Sweet Shoppe Opening Sunday In Old Coffee Crew Location

The old Coffee Crew has been transformed into a new vegan/vegetarian bakery, called Violet Sweet Shoppe, (3614 NE 45th Street) and will open its doors on Sunday from 9-5pm.
The bakery will serve cakes, tarts, ice-cream sandwiches, cookies, candies, and "tons of other sweet treats that you can't find anywhere else in Seattle," the owner, Crystal Rice, told us. 

"We are sooo excited to open our doors and we want everything to be 100% perfect. Our space is small but quaint and seats 10-12 people indoors, and about 6 people outdoors. We'll have coffee, tea, and a rotating selection of smoothies.
We will be open every single day so you wont have to plan your schedule around ours,"' she added.

Crystal and her husband used the Kickstarter website to raise and exceed their goal of $6,000 to help with costs in opening the bakery and give them a "little bit of extra help, as the cost was more than what they had originally anticipated" for funding permits, licenses, and our major equipment, including Eco-friendly and non-toxic products, as Crystal says in her video on the website. "We had no idea how much all of the little stuff would add up to several thousand dollars.  We decided to do a kickstarter so we can get everything we need to launch our full menu the day we open."

Crystal and her husband told us they had been looking for a retail space for 2 years with certain criteria, including among other things a specific amount of square feet, plumbing and electrical in place and easy access by car, bus, and bike.

Crystal told us that old Coffee Crew space "happened to be adorable on the outside (who doesn't love a striped awning!) and has space for outdoor seating. We like that its in a walk-friendly neighborhood and right by the Burke-Gilman trail. A lot of the spaces we looked at we didn't even think twice about. This one was an instant 'YES!' "

Most of Crystal's culinary training has been non-vegan, first attending culinary school in San Francisco, then  studying independently with well known pastry chefs, learning techniques and decorating and that experience helped her decide to open a bakery and "make cakes forever," she told us.

So in 2009 she opened the original Violet Sweet Shoppe in San Franciso selling wholesale to grocery stores, cafes and bakeries, which she ended up closing as she couldn't afford to pay the rent.  She said she made a lot of mistakes when she first started and learned a lot from that experience, adding that she baked all night and worked all day.  "I had no idea that the bakery would do so well so fast and I wasn't prepared to keep up with demand. I'm much more organized now," she said.

Crystal also managed several bakeries and cafes in northern California and Portland and did her wedding cake training at Beaux Gateaux in San Francisco.

Crystal later moved to Seattle, which she said she chose "because it has a high population of vegans and a good amount of vegan food."

Crystal said about Violet Sweet Shoppe - "I'm sure we will attract anyone with a sweet tooth! Aside from cakes and cookies, we'll have candy, fresh flowers, greeting cards, tea, and coffee. We aren't the stereotypical vegan bakery where everything is made with oats and carob. We won't have granola bars."

She thinks her  non-vegan training and experience in the industry has helped her develop a menu that "people won't be afraid to try. I have worked very hard perfecting these unique recipes. I used to be satisfied with making a vegan version of something like a Hostess cupcake. That doesn't interest me anymore because it isn't challenging and its not inspiring. I'm confident that my current menu is reflective of my education and experience."

Bakery hours will be Monday through Thursday 8-6pm, Friday and Saturday 8-8pm and Sunday 9-5pm.
On May 18th the community is invited to  a "grand opening" party to taste free treats. The invitation says: "Come celebrate our official opening! Sample our goods! Meet the staff and neighbors! Free cake! Free coffee! Free Fun!
And we'll be in full swing/ full menu by Mother's Day weekend."
For more information go to the website, Facebook page or Twitter. And here is a video about the Bakery.

Pink Flower Cake 01.jpg
Pink Flower Cake

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