Y’all know how obsessed I am with The Foundry boutique in Old Town Clovis. No, this is not my 20th blog on The Foundry. But when the ladies at The Foundry recommend something, I know I have to check it out. Which is how I ended up at Sweet Delicates, a Portuguese cafe and pastry shop that opened in Clovis a few months ago.
I was intrigued because even though I don’t know anything Portuguese food, I’m always up for trying something new and unique. And Sweet Delicates is definitely unlike any other cafe or bakery in town!
Owner/baker Deandra Miller started out creating custom cakes from home when she found herself unemployed several years ago. When she and her family moved to Clovis a couple of years ago, she decided to make a go of it as a licensed home baker. She did that for two years before her father presented her with a big surprise.
“He took out his 401k and he says, ‘OK, here’s how much you have, look into what you have to get, look into places, we’re gonna do this,’ ” Deandra said. “And I was like, ‘Holy cow!’ ”
They found a space at Bullard and Minnewawa in the Dollar General shopping center in August. Deandra liked the location because this stretch of Bullard has a lot of traffic, with commuters heading to 168 and others going to Old Town Clovis. She hopes Sweet Delicates will become a place where people stop in for their morning coffee and pastries.
Deandra spent a decade living in Portugal between the ages of 10 to 20, so she decided to infuse her culture into some of the baked goods. The cafe aspect of the business comes from the fact that her mother always wanted to have a coffee shop. Sweet Delicates Pastry and Coffee Shop officially opened on December 4, 2015.
Sweet Delicates serves a mixture of regular pastries and Portuguese ones. On any given day, you might find a mix of linguica bread (so good), cheesecake and chocolate croissants. Deandra and her husband, Brandon, make everything from scratch each morning. With plenty of food service experience but only three months of culinary school under her belt before she got pregnant and had to drop out, Deandra is truly a self-taught baker whose passion shows in her treats. Her husband Brandon (who is not Portuguese) wasn’t any sort of baker at all until she brought him into the business and taught him as well.
“He never baked in his life,” Deandra said. “I showed him how to make the breads, and he makes his own little concoctions. … He does the Portuguese sweet bread, which he learned how to do, because I couldn’t get it down – me, the baker! He’s the one who figured it out, so he does all that.”
You never know what you’ll find when you walk into Sweet Delicates, although there are a few daily staples, including cinnamon rolls, linguica bread and croissants. On the weekends, there are more pastries for the local Portuguese customers who have started coming to the cafe from all over the Valley. I am personally a big fan of the Portuguese tarts, which are like little cups of creme brulee set inside flaky pastry. Deandra had to have the special molds imported from Portugal so she could make them from scratch rather than reheat ones that were already premade.
Sweet Delicates’s Portuguese pastries are so popular that they have been asked to make them in bulk for an upcoming wedding. They also sell other Portuguese pantry staples, cheeses, linguica and even codfish by the pound.
In addition, Deandra is still making custom cakes. And while she admits that she learned a lot of her skills from YouTube, she definitely does have skills! Check out these cakes she made quickly for some parents in a bind recently.
Above all else, however, Deandra hopes that Sweet Delicates will become a place that people come to see as their local coffee shop and meeting place. That’s why she offers free wi-fi. (Their coffee is delicious, by the way, and you Starbucks lovers have plenty of options when it comes to the fancy drinks!)
“I wanted to turn it into a place where people could come and hang out,” Deandra said. “I don’t care what you do, sit down, be on your computer all day, whatever. Just come and hang out.”
Sweet Delicates is open Wednesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays (presumably to give Deandra and Brandon time to recover from their grueling schedules!) To find out more about the cafe and see what they’re serving up, follow Sweet Delicates on Instagram and Facebook.
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