originally posted late 2016
Found this blog post written before I had really started my business. But in it I give a little back ground about why I started. I am so happy I took some time to write things down when I was going along because I love looking back at my process....
Hello Friends, Family and Fans! Welcome to my new food blog. For those who don’t know me, or know very little about me, I am Hannah, owner and creator of Sweet Spirits in Peterborough ON.
I launched Sweet Spirits in May of this year (2016) as a dessert catering company. I quickly rented out a small house with a certified kitchen, got my paperwork in order and went to work making delicious creations. While Sweet Spirits events and Farmers Market appearances are generally highlighted by crepe and waffle creations, some may be surprised to learn that these products were not my initial inspiration.
I love desserts. I love cakes, sweets, and everything in between. The sweeter the better. So why crepes and waffles? Simply, because I needed to diversify myself to get into the food scene. You may or may not be surprised to hear that baking cakes is a saturated market. I originally decided that I would sell sweet crepes, inspired by trip to Paris a few years back. If you have visited Paris you know the crepes of which I speak, food vendors lining the sidewalks filling simply folded crepes with Nutella to be carried off and enjoyed in bliss. While Toronto and the surrounding area have various crepe catering companies, I found Peterborough to be lacking in this area. The addition of waffles was suggested by Dylan (Sweet Spirits Chef who often gives me the basic food knowledge needed for work in the kitchen) who thought the consumers in Peterborough may be able to relate more to a waffle. Thus Sweet Spirits, as a crepe and waffle caterer and server at local events was born.
But, as I have already mentioned, sweets are my true love and my true destination. I suppose this explains the “sweets” in the name, but what about the “spirits.” Well not only do I love to eat sweets but I also like to drink. As do many, and I realize I am no exception. But I am moody. I have various moods. Happy, sad, angry, anxious, bitchy, chipper etc. And in all of these moods, I always crave two things; a piece of cake and a glass of wine. I always just want a piece of cake and a glass of wine. If I’m sad it makes me feel better and if I’m happy well, then it helps me stay happy. For me these things go together perfectly, and should almost always be served together (very few exceptions).
This desire, nonetheless, always has a limitation. Even though I could always plan for an event in which I need wine and cake, which is always, thus I should always have it, I sadly, do not. And you would be surprised at how few places you can go on a whim to fulfill this desire. While it may be argued that many restaurants, especially chain restaurants, do serve both, such a venture always includes awkwardly telling the waitress you are only there for the dessert menu, which only ever contains pre-packaged recently de-thawed confections. So while this may start to hit your craving, you are well aware through food blogs and twitter feeds what real desserts look like, and can only dream to be eating one of those instead of that dry chocolate cake that was just placed in front of you.
So my longing and constant need for a great piece of cake and a glass of wine led me to create Sweet Spirits. In the future, I hope to fulfill my dream of a bar in Peterborough which focuses on homemade desserts paired with alcohol, but for now I will focus my attention on the desserts which are a very essential part of that combination.
Another question that seems pertinent to answer; or that seems to often pop up; what or who is my inspiration? I generally respond to this question with a blank stare and a request for rephrasing. I know what you are asking. I hear the responses of the chefs competing on Chopped or Master Chef who have clear child hood memories of their grandmother who taught them how to cook, or some travelling they did which inspired unique flavours. But I have no idea what inspired me as a teenager one Christmas to try and make Fondant from scratch. I had never even used fondant. In fact, I don’t think I had ever tasted fondant before I decided to cover the entire kitchen in icing sugar in my attempt to decorate this cake, which I believe didn’t even have an occasion. Maybe I had been watching the food network for too long? Nonetheless, for years I have searched for various occasions to try new cake recipes and flavours. I have always experimented with baking, mixing two successful recipes in an attempt for the ultimate creation. And I have always loved decorating my creations with the next best thing. I am a self taught baker, with as many accidents as success stories (maybe more accidents than success stories) and a determination that doesn’t quit. So I think to put it simply, I am inspired by my love of sweets, my love of creating something new, and my desire to pair the two together.
So Why a blog? This blog will allow you to follow me along the dessert creation process as I build recipes to sell through sweet spirits. I intend for this blog to not only showcase my fabulous desserts, but also my adventure of small business ownership. It will answer many of the questions asked by new and returning customers; how do I create my chocolate tart shells or what do you put in your waffles to make them so good? (jk that second one is a secret ;) It will showcase many of the challenges I face, the grueling hardships of eating desserts that didn’t turn out exactly right, and the tactics I use to get that perfect end product. So get ready to read and try not to drool ;)