Like many great food businesses in our state, Sweet Lake Biscuits & Limeade began at the Farmer's Market. But before Sweet Lake opened its doors, owner and founder Hasen Cone was working a corporate job in a cubicle, and he wasn't satisfied with his work.
Here are some fun facts about ice cream.
- It is delicious
- Utah is one of the top 10 ice cream consuming states in the country
- No matter the time of year, ice cream is always the right decision
With these strong supporting arguments for ice cream, it was only a matter of time before someone changed the ice cream game in Utah. That time has arrived.
While Utah is known for its premier snow, many people don’t quite realize is that the majority of the state is a desert. Which means it gets hot. Really hot. And while we find ways to enjoy the warm and sunny days, the need for a cold treat is frequent. And as the saying goes, when you stumble upon a lemonade stand, put shaved ice in a pineapple.
When the recession arrived in 2008 the pain was felt everywhere. Fortune 500 companies, local mom and pop shops, and governments around the world all slowed down and the cost of living made margins thinner and thinner. For Liz Butcher and the Butcher family, their farmer’s market side business felt a massive crunch. As more people joined the markets to sell produce, Liz began brainstorming alternatives. And what she dreamed up was even bigger than the family's produce business.
In early 2015 Ally Curzon and her mom Jessica Curzon were driving through Salt Lake City when they were hit with a craving: they wanted a doughnut. While Utah has some fine doughnut options, none would work for the Curzon family because they are vegan -- and vegan doughnuts can be hard to come by.
It was then that a craving turned into a business idea. Ally and her mom drove home to share their new idea with Ally's 15-year-old sister, Leah, but were met with skepticism. Leah had seen her mom's last food project, a small chocolate truffle business, start with high hopes... but never get off the ground. So Leah Curzon issued her mom a challenge: "Mom, this can't be one of those things you don't follow through on."
So Jessica hit the kitchen with her daughters, working toward a perfect vegan doughnut. And when they felt they had the recipe dialed in, they rented a booth at a local farmer's market in town. They were received well, which led their doughnuts into Sugar House Coffee and a few other local coffee shops in town. With momentum, lots of passion, some newfound fans from their Farmer's Market presence, and their unique vegan doughnuts, Jessica Curzon put a new commercial kitchen on a credit card and went all in, rising to meet her daughter's challenge.
Today we're joined by Jessica Curzon, her 15-year-old daughter Leah Curzon, and Jessica's boyfriend and business partner Zak Farrington, to talk about their journey starting an all-vegan doughnut shop and their upcoming new location at 171 E Broadway in downtown Salt Lake City, where they'll open in just a few weeks.
Mark DelVecchio and Dana Brewster have always been curious. With Mark's background as an educator and Dana's career as the owner of Millcreek Coffee Roasters, curiosity about the world around them and the food we consume has driven their careers and passions.
When Mark's career brought them to Ethiopia, Dana's research and exploring led to cocoa beans. These delicious cocoa beans inspired Dana, and her coffee roasting background gave her an idea. With big dreams in mind, Dana and Mark dove into artisan chocolate making. What started as a challenge to develop high quality chocolate led to a passionate business that delivers internationally award winning chocolate, from heirloom certified bean growers who are locally sourced and sustainably maintained.
Join us as we learn about Mark and Dana’s fascinating backstory, and travel with them on their chocolate adventure. If there's one thing we learned, it's that love, chocolate, and a sense of adventure lead to great things.
Amour is the French word for love, and that's the perfect way to describe how the local jam company Amour Spreads began. It was in 2011 that John and Casee Francis were looking to start a new chapter in life. They felt they were in a rut with their careers and needed a change, or as they say in the episode… they wanted a sign: something that would signal to them what their next life chapter had in store for them.
It was when Casee and John were hiking in rural Idaho in the summer of 2011 that the sign they wished for appeared. Just not in the way they expected. A few miles from their cabin, they stumbled across a field with thousands of berries. Unable to stop themselves from picking them, they spent the morning filling bails with fresh-picked berries. But what do you do with thousands of berries when there's no way to bring them back to Utah? After some reading online, Casee and John decided to experiment with making jam. And that's where their new journey began.
Their first batches of jam were a hit. Friends and family loved their local, low sugar, high-quality recipes, and John and Casee's interest and excitement grew. Every new batch was an experiment, and what started as a hobby grew into a passion.
With further encouragement from their friends at Pago and Liberty Heights Fresh, John and Casee decided to take the plunge and grow Amour Spreads into a business. With a booth at the Farmer's Market, jam's at Liberty Heights Fresh and Caputos, and partnerships with Pago and Solstice Chocolate, Amour Spreads has quickly established themselves as an essential part of the Utah food scene.
Join us on The Utah Foodie as we sit down with John and Casee and learn how their humble jam interest grew into an award winning, state-wide hit. From the humble beginnings at an Idaho cabin to being a finalist in the Good Food Awards, the only way to go for Amour Spreads is up.
Scott was comfortable in his career as an air traffic controller and DeAnn was a sales manager at a local Utah business. But their kids were growing up and leaving the house, and behind the scenes Scott and DeAnn's homemade chocolate was becoming much more than a hit among friends and family, and was turning into an obsession.
So late in their careers and in mid-2013, DeAnn and Scott Querry made the leap into a new chapter of their lives and opened Solstice Chocolate out of a a small 800 square foot location in the Central Ninth district of Salt Lake City. In this small, single-room location they received small boxes of imported cocoa beans, arriving from distant countries known for their cocoa beans, like Madagascar and Bolivia.
Solstice Chocolate's "bean-to-bar" model has proven that carefully controlling the entire chocolate-making process pays off. Today, just two years later, Solstice Chocolate bars can be found in over 170 locations across the United States and Europe.
On today's episode of The Utah Foodie, we take you through Solstice Chocolate's founding story, talk about the bean-to-bar model and roasting process to make fine chocolate, and get to know their owners DeAnn Querry and Scott Querry.
You can find their chocolate online at Solstice Chocolate's website, or at the Blue Copper Coffee Room or Publik Coffee Roasters.
When Adam Terry founded Waffle Love in 2012, it was more than a labor of love. It was a dire necessity. With a family to support, bills to pay, and no other options, launching their unique and delicious waffle food truck was fundamental.
Three years, six trucks, and two restaurants later, Waffle Love has grown into a thriving business that continually sells delicious, mouth watering food. With an appearance on The Great Food Truck Race on Food Network, locations in Arizona, and more trucks and restaurants arriving within the next few months, you could say Adam's passion and dedication has worked out.
While many people dream of opening their own restaurant or cooking for a living, many tend to shy away from the gamble that comes from such a competitive industry. But with positivity, hard work, passion, and 110% commitment, finding success is more than achievable. It's possible to get bigger than you ever dared to dream.
Join us on The Utah Foodie as we sit down with Adam, hear his outstanding story, and dive into his infectious passion that will inspire you to tackle all your dreams.
Welcome to The Utah Foodie! On today's show, we sit down with Dolcetti Gelato, one of the cornerstones of the 9th and 9th neighborhood. Founded by Elizabeth and Mark England over ten years ago, this neighborhood staple specializes in home made, locally flavored Italian delicacies that will take your mouth on a scenic tour of the Italian countryside.
When Elizabeth and Mark began their endeavor into the food scene, Mark wanted an excuse to spend more time with Elizabeth. What better way to spend time with someone than through launching a gelato business together?
After evolving from Italian Ice, they began to explore the world of gelato. From gelato making classes to traveling through Italy to learn the local secrets, Mark and Elizabeth began a small gelato cart at Rico's Mexican Market. Selling wholesale to groups throughout the state, Dolcetti Gelato grew to the point where their own store front was a necessity.
With their beautiful and artsy location at 902 E 900 S, Elizabeth and Mark have crafted over 75 seasonal, artisan flavors of gelato that sample from local flavors such as peach, honey, and lavender, to exotic flavors such as their popular coconut sticky rice.
AJ Wentworth attended the world's largest nutrition school in New York City, after spending years as a health coach and working at a retreat center in rural Arizona where he taught his patients about raw food and holistic, healthy living. To put it simply, AJ doesn't have the background you'd expect of a chocolatier.
In NYC, AJ fell in love with the idea of healthy, raw chocolate -- made of real cacao beans and while staying healthy, remaining sweet, and well... like chocolate. So he started making his own version of chocolate in his apartment, and peddled them at school to make a few bucks and get feedback from his fellow classmates.
When he returned home to Salt Lake City, AJ Wentworth opened The Chocolate Conspiracy and today, just six years later, they have a large wholesale presence where they sell in over 10 states, a few countries, and out of their small chocolate shoppe in downtown Salt Lake City at 774 S 300 W.
AJ joins us today to talk about how he reconciles his passion for health, and his passion for sweets... and how he started The Chocolate Conspiracy back in 2009 as a young creative, with no background in business.
Join us on today's show of The Utah Foodie, with AJ Wentworth and our host Chase Murdock.
The Chocolate Conspiracy
774 S. 300 W. (Unit A)
Salt Lake City, UT 84101