7922 East Coast Hwy, Newport Coast, CA 92657
Pricing - $$/$$$ | Dining - To-Go | Cuisine - Bakery
Let me first preface this post by saying that I had been invited to a media preview of the shop which was unfortunately canceled. However, Melody, the owner, was kind enough to offer one-on-one appointments for tasting for those of us who were going to attend. I took her up on that offer and am writing this post because I was thoroughly impressed with everything in the shop.
First of all, I had heard of the store before through my work at my previous job at an event production company (we did mostly weddings). The first Sweet & Saucy Shop actually is in Long Beach and has been there for the past 4 years when Melody opened it with her mother. By the way, she is so sweet! I've yet to meet a professional baker who didn't have a sugary personality but I love how genuine Melody is too. So anyhow, about the Newport Beach store, it has a much larger storefront than the other location since more casual clientele is based in the area (it's in the Crystal Cove Promenade). I thought the decor was quite spot-on for the dainty but elegant type of desserts being sold.
So what did I have the pleasure of tasting? I think my favorite of the bunch was the little shooter of passionfruit pannacotta which had a creamy texture and tangy kick. It wasn't so much that my jaw hurt but had enough citrus to make it not seem as indulgent. I mean, who doesn't feel a little guilty about eating desserts? There was also a mini cappuccino cheesecake which blew my mind. I definitely wanted more of that. The chocolate-dipped red velvet cake pop was decadent; its richness was just right.
My tasting box had quite a few other desserts which I shared later at home with others including a salted caramel macaroon (delicately savory), mini chocolate cupcake (the tiny rice crisp balls on top gave a great crunch), and a chocolate salted caramel cake. Three others that I got pictures of were the best-selling mini candy bar cupcake (vanilla cake with chocolate ganache filling topped with peanut butter frosting and drizzled in caramel - a sweetness that makes you close your eyes in bliss), key lime mini tart (perfect amount of tart and toasted meringue), and mini peach pie (she heated it up for me too so that the cinnamon-y peach slice inside was warm when I bit into it - the latticework is so cute!). At $1.50+ per mini dessert, it isn't so easy budgeting yourself at spending under $10 per visit because of the variety of delightful desserts but it's also worth it considering the care in every morsel.
I admire people who have as much finesse as Melody and her staff. A neat thing about the Newport Beach store is that it has a refrigerated section allowing for cold delights to be sold individually instead of bulk, as is listed online. There were so many sweets to choose from - I was so glad she made the choices for me when I came in! I asked her a bit more about the store and was pleasantly surprised to learn that almost all of her staff has been with her since the beginning. They offer 2-month unpaid internships before hiring and generally, everyone has stayed on. That's quite impressive for retail. I guess it must be the warm community that has grown at the Sweet & Saucy Shop. By the way, Melody's baby girl is adorable and a visitor on the weekends!