Krista Steinbach and Ly Lo are making it official on Saturday, April 9 with the grand opening of Sweets Bakeshop, their cupcake/macaron store, in Tangletown. Though the bakery has been doing business since early February, they waited until now to plan an event.
"We just wanted to kind of get everything together before we had a big opening," explained Lo.
Now that it's set for Saturday, the festivities will start at 11 a.m. with free chair massages and live guitar music by Lo's brother, as well as a string quartet later in the afternoon.
And yes, they'll be chances to win free cupcakes — with both a 3 p.m. cupcake walk and an all-ages coloring contest, which per the posted rules, will be judged for creativity.
The paper cupcake outline is available at the shop and the prize for creative work is one dozen mini cakes for winners in each of four age groups: three and under, four to nine, 10 to 18 and over 18. All artwork in the contest must be turned in by 4 p.m.
"You can use any medium you like," explained Lo, the self-described artist of the two, as she pointed to a completed pink one hanging on the wall nearby.
Another highlight will be a 1 p.m. coffee tasting with local brewing expert Andrew Kopplin, who put together the shop's java program. "He's actually working on roasting his own beans, so he's going to have roasted for the grand opening," said Steinbach.
The revelry will take place at the store on Nicollet Avenue and weather-permitting, spill out into parking lot. And as always, their cupcakes ($3 each), mini cupcakes ($1.50 each) and French macarons ($1.50 each) will be on sale, in addition to coffee and other baked items. All of the fun flavors, including the Feisty Goat (chocolate cake, carmel and pecan filling with goat cheese marscapone frosting) and Kettle Korn (cornmeal and almond cake with honey buttercream) are made on site, in the kitchen at the rear of the building. That's part of the reason that Steinbach and Lo expanded their St. Paul Sweets concept into Minneapolis — they needed a bigger kitchen.
"We loved the neighborhood and this space became available and it was a good find for us. We did want to be in South Minneapolis," explained Lo. They figured that they might as well choose a location with retail possibilities, in addition to a workable kitchen.
Judging from the response to the cupcakes and macarons in the area, their arrival seems to be a Sweets success story. And Saturday will serve as their "coming out" party.
Sweets Bakeshop - 4747 Nicollet Ave. S/612.208.0672
Grand Opening: Saturday, April 9 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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Pig & Fiddle, a restaurant from the guys who run St. Paul's quintessential pub, The Muddy Pig, is moving in next to the 50th Street Cafe in the old Pearson's building. They foresee a July 2011 opening.
Fruits of the City, a non-profit that encourages fruit tree growth and harvests excess fruits to give to local food shelves, will have a seminar on growing fruit trees at Bachman's on April 12, from 6-7:30 p.m.