A Letter From Eileen
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 5 years since we first opened our doors at Sweet and Saucy Shop. This has definitely been an amazing journey and quite the wild ride. The direction of your life can certainly change in a short period of time, and my life has done a complete 180 degree turn since my daughter Melody first approached me to partner with her to open a dessert shop! The first question I was asked when people learned of my new adventure was “You’re starting a business in this economy?” The recession had hit California, and stores were closing doors, not opening new ones. Both Melody and I have a deep and abiding faith that if God leads you in a certain direction, He will provide for you, so we decided to step out in faith. Our Heavenly Father has certainly been faithful, and we thank Him for His Hand of provision and blessing in this endeavor.
They say “A picture is worth a thousand words” so I thought a quick pictorial tour of the past five years would be the best way to tell our story. If you know Melody, you know she loves to take pictures, so it was no easy task choosing a few photos from her collection of 7,000 to tell the story. But I’ll try!
Construction begins…I don’t think we really knew what we were getting ourselves into!
Our front counter looks pretty sparse compared to our display now. Throughout the 5 years we have added dozens of different mini desserts and goodies to our menu.
OPENING DAY! Melody’s husband Tim even helped behind the counter that first day! Tim is the technological wizard and is responsible for creating our beautiful website.
Originally, we started with five of us and slowly began to add more employees. It’s hard to believe that we now have a staff of 25!
We decorated our back office to be able to conduct tastings for our clients, but after four years….
It was wall-to-wall consultants, and we knew it was time to move!
Melody’s first wedding cake made it into The Knot Magazine, and things began to explode!
We got a call from the Oprah Show for sugar cookies with edible images of the”O” Magazine with Ellen Degeneres on the front cover. The cookies were delivered to The Ellen Show and given to the studio audience. We made one huge cookie which Ellen showcased on television. My sister Rosie is shown here displaying the cookie. Family is so important to us and being able to work with my sister is part of the fun! Some people may not realize that my older daughter Sara makes almost all of our gorgeous sugar flowers for the cakes so it really is a family business!
TLC asked us to be a part of their new show Fabulous Cakes, and they filmed us for 3 LONG days! Kyong, our head cake decorator, worked on the groomsmen cake with Melody, and the bride surprised the groom with a replica of his dog. The wedding cake and dessert table were quite a spectacular sight!
It’s always fun to see our creations in magazines! Melody and I set up the display for Miley Cyrus’s 18th birthday party, but we had offers from a lot of the gals to deliver to the birthday party for John Stamos!
I’m not sure what we were thinking when we decided to open a second shop while Melody was pregnant! Blake Eileen arrived in the midst of construction, and she became a familiar face on the job site. It was a crazy time, but we love our Newport Beach location!
A shop party at our new location before the Grand Opening! In the midst of our party, one of the OC Housewives walked in! Gotta love this location because you’re never sure who’s going to walk through the door!
After months of work and endless decisions, we really appreciate how beautiful it turned out.
Definitely the most valuable aspect to our business is our fabulous staff! Melody and I feel we have some of the most talented employees in the world of desserts and our success is largely due to these gals!
People often ask if there is a lot of drama at our shops with this many women! Absolutely not! These gals work together well…and play together too! We do have the occasional fella working at Sweet and Saucy! My nephew Luke helped at our front counter and is pictured here at our Christmas party several years ago.
And who could forget Graham! What guy wouldn’t want to work at Sweet and Saucy and be surrounded by these bevy of beauties!
An important aspect of our business is handled by our very competent consultants. It’s their friendly voices you’ll hear when you call our shop. The list of their duties is endless with emails, phone calls, tastings, and on and on! Our team had a blast at The Cream Event this past year!
Our current cake decorating staff led by Kyong Bell (pictured far left.) I have witnessed hundreds of their creations, and I am still amazed at their talent!
Our kitchen staff is capably managed by Jennifer Meek (pictured third from the right). We have hundreds and hundreds of orders pass through our kitchen, and I always marvel how efficiently and smoothly it all goes! And the aromas that come out of this room are unbelievable!
Lisa was gone for the group photo, but we couldn’t leave her out!
Cortney Pritchard (pictured left) is our office manager. A big portion of our business is weddings where every detail is important. These gals do an amazing job of getting it right!!
Katherine Jimenez and Samantha Gastelum are the gals who keep our Newport shop running smoothly.
My husband Gregg has supervised the construction of all three of our shops. Fortunately for us, he has boundless energy because 3 shops in 4 years is quite an undertaking. It became apparent that we were rapidly outgrowing our original shop in Long Beach after only four years in business, so construction began in March, 2013 for our shop in the Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach.
The calm before the storm…getting ready to open the doors for our Grand Opening!
We were thrilled at the response to our new location! From the moment we opened the doors at 11:00 until we closed at 5:00, people were lined up out the door!
Without a doubt, the best part about these last 5 years is getting to work with my daughter! This is one of the first dessert bars we set up. In the beginning, we took the orders, Melody made the cakes, and we delivered them too! And trust me, I washed my share of dishes those first few months! It was exhausting, but we loved doing it together. I have always recognized that Melody was very capable and talented even as a young girl, but to watch her flourish in a business that she is passionate about has been a joy!
And who knows…we may be grooming another generation to work with us!
Both Melody and I recognize that we would not have achieved this success without our wonderful customers. Our best form of advertisement has always been satisfied customers sharing Sweet and Saucy with others. We want to thank you for making our business what it is today, and we look forward to many more years of yummy desserts!