Truffles: What’s been your biggest surprise since coming to Sweet Designs?
Danielle: Prior to Sweet Designs, I never had as much direct interaction with people on the retail level. People come by for all different kinds of reasons. Some come for comfort. This is a wonderful gift shop. It’s been interesting to see how many people who come to the store want to share stories about who they’re buying for. ‘This person will like this and such and such person will like that’. They almost always leave with one or two items beyond what they’ve come for.
I also think that Sweet Designs is still very much the neighborhood friendly chocolate shop. We have many people who come here for their weekly or monthly purchase of chocolate to take home.
Truffles: How long did it take to learn all the products?
Danielle: It’s taken a few months to learn and I’m still learning them all. People sometimes have their own names for our products. I’ve had to learn and navigate the local language.
Truffles: Are there many people who order the same thing each time they come?
Danielle: Oh, yeah. there are many people who order the same thing each time for themselves. They’ll say ‘I have the usual’ - lots of regulars. And, of course, they’ll often add to their regular orders with a few extras. People appreciate our quality and feel our products are worth the money.
Truffles: We’ve heard that baking is a real passion for you.
Danielle: I started cooking when I was 9. I learned a lot from my grandmothers. It’s more than a hobby, it’s relaxation time for me. I anticipate the outcome. I wait and watch to see how it’s doing. When it comes out really nice, it’s like a scientific experiment. And I like to make things for other people. I feel I can’t judge it myself. It’s always nice to have other people test it for you.
Truffles: How did you develop the patience for baking?
Danielle: I have three younger brothers and they helped me develop patience. Over time, my patience has grown. It was terrible when I was younger. I liked science in school and when you set up an experiment, you had to learn to be patient. That’s helped me with my baking.
Truffles: Any advice for fellow bakers?
Danielle: If it doesn’t come out right the first time or the second time, don’t give up.
Truffles: Any other advice for people beyond baking?
Danielle: Yes, take a chance in life. Go for it.
Truffles: Last question - your favorite treat?
Danielle: Our Hot Chocolate Truffle is one of my favorites. And I like milk chocolate truffles. And the pretzel rods, the dark chocolate pretzel rods.