Kelly Smith Weaver. Photography Cesar Ramirez.
- October 29, 2012
We All Scream
Don’t let the name fool you. This is no opening act: Carnival Barker’s Ice Cream takes center stage. After watching a documentary on ice cream last year, local musician Aaron Barker started making his own. The fun side project quickly escalated into an obsession, resulting in enrollment at Penn State Creamery’s ice cream college (yes, there is such a thing) this past January. “I really refined my formulas there,” says Barker. The results speak for themselves: Fat Elvis (a trio of peanut butter, bananas and a candied, honey swirl), Nutella Vodka, Banana Pudding and Cookies ‘N’ Cream, a customer favorite containing whole vanilla beans and lots and lots of cookies. He’s currently developing fall-appropriate flavors such as pumpkin pie, as well as a candy-cane concoction for the holidays. Sold by the pint at Bolsa Mercado and Jimmy’s Food Store and by the cup at Bryan Street Tavern, City Tavern, Granada Theater and Texas Theatre. Go to facebook.com/carnivalbarkers for information and updates.
What a Rush
Updating old-school favorites may not have been what Meghan Adams had in mind when she launched The Hospitality Sweet with her mom and sister in 2009, but it has definitely become her forté. Originally conceived as a “lake house” catering company, Adams sidelined the casseroles and pinwheels as clients began clamoring for her desserts. Under her creative eye, a jelly roll becomes a pumpkin roulade with crystallized ginger mascarpone filling, whoopie pies get the red velvet (with marshmallow filling) treatment, and push-pops and mason jars each score a sophisticated makeover with layers of spice cake and cream cheese frosting — perfect for party favors or hostess gifts. Expectant and new moms keep Adams on speed dial for Gender Reveal baby showers and Cake Smash parties, the latter consisting of a birthday photo-op for your little tyke to smash his or her own mini-cake,
while the rest of the guests enjoy a picture-perfect version. In June 2012, London came calling, and the trio
opened The London Café inside Timothy Oulton’s eponymous furniture emporium on Henderson, where they serve up Texas scones, amongst other obsessions, to those needing a fix. Exclusively at The London Café at Timothy Oulton; order bespoke at thehospitalitysweet.com.
Demand His Supply
An overnight sensation when he launched Wackym’s Kitchen in 2008, Paul Wackym is the quintessential Renaissance man — designer, luxury retail gourmand, epicurean and cookie maker. Widely known for the Margarita cookie (a sweet/savory tale of buttery crunch, fresh lime zest and sea salt), he’s constantly adding original, artisanal recipes to his arsenal. A believer in the power of a grassroots business model, Wackym is an advocate for keeping it real and local; he still works the Coppell Farmers Market every Saturday. “It’s like having a weekly test lab that helps me keep a strong, loyal customer base by understanding what resonates with people,” he says. Currently in development is a vanilla snickerdoodle cookie, as well as a chocolate version with a cinnamon-slash-cayenne finish. At Celebration Market, Central Market, Good 2 Go Taco, Green Spot Market and Jimmy’s Food Store; wackymskitchen.com.
We’re no Girl Scouts, but that didn’t stop us from falling hard for Oh*Brownie. Several years ago, entrepreneur Iris McCallister owned a concierge service and recognized a potential niche after fruitlessly searching for her corporate gifting clients. “Everyone loves brownies — they make people happy,” she states. The admitted perfectionist began to refine her childhood favorite, and four years later, a new company was born. Available in two proportions, bite-sized or big girl, these sleek packaged treats are sold individually or in gift-ready sets: Choose from The Birthday Box, The Congratulations Box, The No-Nuts Box and The Ella Box (a curated selection courtesy of her adorable 3-year-old daughter). A stickler for quality ingredients, McCallister uses only the best, i.e., Belgian chocolatiers Callebaut and Belcolade. Look for new seasonal recipes to rotate alongside mainstays Dark & Mysterious, The O.G, Smart Blondie and the best-selling sea salt caramel, aptly labeled Good Karmel. “No bacon brownies, ever,” she promises. At Bolsa Mercado, Jimmy’s Food Store, Scardello and TJ’s Seafood; order box sets through ohbrownie.com.
Believe the hype. A perennial “best of” list topper, chocolatier and resident Bishop Arts District babe Katherine Clapner quickly hooked the city on her confections. A brand-new production kitchen in the Design District will eventually offer cooking classes and demos, but for now the space allows Clapner to expand her offerings and satiate fans with even more Dude, Sweet Chocolate. We’re currently jonesing for the hints of tobacco and cognac in the Dude Artisan Collections and the melt-in-your-mouth fudge called Albatross, an unexpected pairing of dehydrated blue cheese and sea salt. Other must-haves: Cocoa Vin (an aged cocoa balsamic vinegar great on fresh salads and fruit), Tub of Love Italian Hazelnut spreads and EVOOC (extra virgin cocoa-infused olive oil), which adds dynamic flavor anywhere you’d normally use olive oil. With product names ranging from Fungus Amongus to Chubby Nuts, One Night Stand, Stag Party and Break-Up Potion, we had to ask her how she comes up with the clever monikers. She laughs, “Clearly, I have a very active imagination.” 408 W.. 8th St., 214.943.5943; dudesweetchocolate.com.