Photo by Jessica Maida
Sweet Fix is coming! Sweet Fix is coming! Start saving up calorie coupons because beginning Sept. 19, this little Manchester sugar haven will be serving up some of the most luscious, elegant, creative treats in the city. It’s a rich morsel of Paris dipped in old-timey Richmond, with a bright, shiny, Southern candy shell. Cakes, macarons, miniature pies, crème brulèe, mousse, cupcakes and other enticements will sing your name from behind the glass.
“There’s something about walking into a bakery that makes you feel very happy, and very young," explains owner and cake magician Amanda Robinson. "I think if I could go back in time, I’d visit the 17- or 1800s and head to the candy shops and the pie shops in Europe. I want people to feel like that, to see the rainbow of colors and feel young again. I want to bring magic into the experience.” If you’ve never seen Robinson’s exquisite work, check out the Sweet Fix image galleries online. Her cakes are outrageously beautiful and elaborate and all look like they just won Ace of Cakes.
Available to folks who wander into the new French patisserie-meets-1950s-sweet-shop at 9 W. 10th St. will be limited runs of three or four macaron and cupcake flavors, and an assortment of single-serving desserts. There are 32 total flavors on the Sweet Fix macaron roster, including saffron orange blossom, salted banana caramel, and bacon maple cream cheese. Here’s the (maddeningly alluring) catch: Once the freshly-baked goodies run out for the day, they are truly gone. “We want to provide things fresh daily, and because of what goes into making them, that’s going to make things pretty exclusive,” Robinson says. Just makes me want it more.
The opening on Saturday, Sept. 19 will feature free desserts, cotton candy, live music and crafts from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Regular shop hours will be Wednesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., when guests can stop by the converted brick carriage house, which was once home to a different bakery nearly 100 years ago.
Until now, wedding cakes have been the focus of Robinson’s home-based business. Her painting and art history degrees, experience managing and founding Jackson Ward’s Gallery5, and obsessive craftiness have helped shape her dessert ventures into something bigger and bolder than what most sweets businesses attempt.
“The most extravagant cake I’ve ever done was a groom’s cake with a sea monsters in classic literature theme. It was shaped like a stack of books — "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "The Odyssey," some others — and the top layer was an open book with a crocodile and a squid pulling a ship under. It took a very long time,” Robinson laughs. You’ll still be able to order specialty cakes at the brick and mortar shop, of course, and Robinson even took feedback to heart: you'll now be able to offer some of her dessert cakes on a smaller scale, and with less notice, so you can get your Sweet Fix fix at almost any time, in almost any way.
Sweet Fix is located at 9 W. 10th St. and opens Sept. 19.