Sweet Spot: Sweet resolutions for 2014

More ice cream, doughnuts, sleep and niceties on the horizon

It seems most New Year’s resolutions riff on more gym visits or fewer vices, but what happens when you work with sweets? I followed up with some of this year’s Sweet Spot story-makers to find out.

• Jordan Cash (Cartems Donuterie):
“To get more sleep.”

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• Ben Ernst (Earnest Ice Cream):
“To go to sleep before 11 p.m.”

• Erica Bernardi (Earnest Ice Cream):
“I don’t make [New Year’s resolutions].”

Both Cartems and Earnest opened bricks-and-mortar locations this year, so little surprise that sleep is top of mind. At 2,800 square feet, Cartems’ new space at 534 West Pender St. is bright and airy and features sweet and savoury doughnuts, not to mention milk on tap. “There’s a lot more envelope pushing as far as doughnuts are defined,” says Cash. Case in point: doughnut versions of Japanese curry buns and South American sopapillas. In 2014, he hopes to reinstate bicycle deliveries for the downtown core, which proved too popular when they first opened in 2012.

Where Cash is dusting off his bicycle, Ernst and Bernardi are parking their bike-powered ice-cream cart. They’ve settled into their new digs at 3992 Fraser St., where you can get ridiculously dreamy Earnest Ice Cream by the scoop. Bernardi’s thrilled with the new location: “I love the neighbourhood. It’s been perfect… very friendly.” Currently open four days a week, they’re planning to expand to six days — and to unveil a scoop truck next summer.

• Vince Piccolo, Lucky’s Doughnuts and 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters:
“I try to live my life with the same resolution every day: to be a better person, to offer better quality and never get too comfortable. I always stay on my toes.”

Following the wild success of Lucky’s Doughnuts/49th Parallel Coffee Roasters on Main Street, Piccolo opened a second location in Kitsilano. He had doubts about putting a fried-dough joint in the middle of health-conscious Kits, but it was packed on opening weekend and continues to be. With the breakneck busyness of both locations, he hasn’t had much time to catch his breath. “We’ll try to step back, breathe and figure out our next move.” For now, expect more of the same: decadent doughnuts. New seasonal flavours will be coming in spring.

• Eleanor Chow Waterfall, Cadeaux Bakery:
“I start off strong but it dwindles off into the year. [This year] I would like to be more active, and I want to spend more time not working, so I can spend it with my daughter.”

Chow Waterfall and business partner Slavita Johnson have been busy this year. They added ice creams and sorbets to the menu and also expanded their wholesale business. They now supply ice creams for Bao Bei, desserts for The Diamond, croissants for Meinhardt Fine Foods and the majority of the baked goods for The Burrard Hotel. Next year’s focus? More cakes, especially custom cakes.

• Andrea French, The Pie Shoppe:
“I’ve been trying to make New Year’s resolutions for six years, the same one every year: to be nicer to people… My sister [Stephanie] thinks I should be nicer to people, but maybe she just wants me to be nicer to her.”

Sibling rivalry never tasted so good. This year the French sisters hunted down local fruit, started offering frozen meat pies and, of course, survived their first Thanksgiving. “We couldn’t take any more orders because we physically couldn’t do it,” says Andrea, who estimates she peeled 200 pounds of apples for the occasion. She and Stephanie are closing shop for all of January for some well-deserved time off. In the works for 2014: ice cream.

As for me, I resolve to eat more ice cream, since it seems that I’ll have plenty of options. That’s one resolution I’m happy to work on.


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