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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sweet Beat: Caterer Launches Dessert Shop; Takeout Lunch Business to Follow

Posted By on Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 3:34 PM

click to enlarge rsz_sweet_display_2.jpg
It's a crappy time for caterers. Even if you had the money, this isn't exactly the moment for corporate caviar bars and sushi served on the flesh of live models (ah, the things we've seen). That accounts for Kitchenette, LRE Catering's lunch-off-the-loading-dock concept in Dogpatch. And it explains Sweet (218 Church at Market), a pastry and confectionery shop that launched in the Castro last week.

The owners? Elaine and Michael Jennings. Since 1995 they've operated Small Potatoes, a boutique catering firm. Their sweets shop spin-off features the work of their longtime pastry chef Angela Chavez. She's turning out caramels, marshmallows, tartlets, petite layer cakes, and mini cupcakes. Many of the ingredients are organic, and production takes place at the Small Potatoes kitchen on Sixth Street. SFoodie's favorites include the remarkably poplike root beer cupcakes, Mexican chocolate tart, the gingerbread-y spice caramels, and cayenne-spiked peanut brittle.

The Jennings' outreach beyond the wedding and bar mitzvah circuit doesn't stop at Sweet. This weekend, they'll begin selling savory stuffed apples and other foods at farmers' markets at both Stonestown and in Hayward. And by mid-July, they hope to launch Staff Meal, a lunchtime takeout business from their catering company storefront at 35 Sixth St. (at Stevenson). Sound familiar?

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