Vendor Spotlight: Sweet Thea
This week in our vendor spotlight, you will be deliciously happy to learn more about a local business that provides wonderful treats and beautiful wedding cakes to all those with a sweet tooth. Their creations are all made from scratch and with love. If you haven’t tried their baked goods yet, it is a must! We had a chance to chat with Laurie, the other half of Sweet Thea to find out find out more.
Q. Where did the name Sweet Thea come from?
Thea (pronounced Tay-uh) is my wife, the pastry chef/baker extraordinaire who created all the recipes. While Thea was working at the Vancouver Club, she started accepting wedding cake bookings, and formed her company ‘Sweet Thea’ to handle that.
Q. Where does the inspiration for your beautiful desserts and wedding cakes come from?
Thea has had a passion for sweets since she was a child. It is a constant, daily passion – even when working 16 hour days – that pushes her to always be creative and please people with her treats. Like all chefs, she loves feeding people.
Q. What makes your baked goods stand out from other bakeries?
A few reasons. Thea has an incredible palette – if it doesn’t make her happy, it does not leave the bakery.
Also, Sweet Thea is a ‘scratch bakery.’ If you have heard the phrase ‘made from scratch’, you know it means starting with raw materials only, then creating from them. Every day at Sweet Thea, quality ingredients are selected, prepared, combined, baked and sold to our happy eaters. Nothing is pre-made, or bought pre-mixed. Truly ‘artisan’, each item is made with painstaking attention to detail, is chemical and preservative-free, and is completely dependent upon our skills and experience. The art of ‘scratch baking’ was how your great-grandmother baked, but isn’t very often seen now.
Finally, Thea is always concerned about quality and detail – Here is how she recently described it, in an ad for bakery assistants: “Everything we produce is the best product possible and made only with raw ingredients. There are no shortcuts in our bakery and everything is done right. Every detail is important; the look, the smell, the flavour, the crumb, the mouth feel, is all considered when preparing an item. The eating experience is essential and we like to keep our eaters happy.”
Q. With all your success, why is it important for Sweet Thea to have a presence at farmers markets as well?
When we decided to open our own bakery, we didn’t have the money to open a brick-n-mortar location without going seriously into debt…We couldn’t afford to do that. We actually do not have a storefront; we are located in an industrial park in Langley that is not zoned for commercial use…The Vancouver Sun recently did a little article about our unique approach
(As for farmers markets) If you want to feed people, it is better to go to where people are 🙂 We are both foodies, and all the values that imbue the markets – food safety, sustainability, community, activist attitude – resonate strongly with both of us. It makes it more than a business, it lets us vote with our business for a better way of sourcing food.
Q. What is your best selling item?
Because our product lines at the farmers market are changed seasonally, this is a tricky question. Three weeks ago – Valentines Week – everyone wanted our gluten-free macaron. Right now, it is probably our lemon tarts. When the fresh berries arrive, our fruit pies fly off the shelf, and are probably our best seller until late summer. In the fall, pumpkin pie and tarts, and our granola bars. For many people, we are famous for our line of European Christmas baking – fruitcake, stollen, plum pudding, lebkuchen – and they far outsell our regular product in November and December.
Q. What does the future hold of Sweet Thea?
We will happily continue to feed our eaters for the foreseeable future.