Hetty Arts Pastry – Fort Wayne’s latest Food Truck
Nov29

Hetty Arts Pastry – Fort Wayne’s latest Food Truck

Fort Wayne is home to some amazing food on wheels. From gourmet hot dogs and crab Rangoon pizza to pho, you can pretty much get it all….now including from scratch apple fritters, doughnuts and a variety of pastries. Behold the newest addition to Fort Wayne’s food truck fleet – Hetty Arts Pastry Truck!   Hetty Arts, owner and pastry chef extraordinaire, is no stranger to the art of pastry making. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist. With a name like that, it’s so easy!) She grew up on a dairy farm in Holland and at the age of 13 her family moved to Convoy, Ohio. Initially Hetty attended Ohio State as an interior design major. Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs (her parents and brothers are dairy farmers and her sister is a florist), it was no surprise that Hetty wanted to make her own way in the world. Her mother recommended baking as an alternative path when she felt that interior design wasn’t her cup of tea. I assumed she was a natural born baker and Hetty gave me a look. “I was terrible at baking,” she laughed. “My sister will be the first to tell you. She was actually the baker when we were kids! She would tell me what to do and she never lets me forget about the time I was supposed to help her whip cream and I ended up over whipping it and turned it into butter. So no, I wouldn’t say I had any natural talent initially!” When looking for a program at Midwest Culinary Institute in Cincinnati, OH, Hetty was immediately drawn to the sparkling pastry kitchens. “They were so beautiful,” she remarks. “And it just came so easy for me. It was like I was meant to do it!” When I asked her if she was ever interested in other forms of cooking (considering the butter incident) she noted, “when you are a savory chef you have to wear 17 hats. As a pastry chef you only need to wear like 7 hats. Much more manageable!” Graduating at the top of her class with a degree in baking and pastry arts, she immediately landed a job at Joseph Decuis, which at that time was a very modern farm to fork concept that was relatively new to Fort Wayne.     While visiting a friend in NYC she found out that there was an opening at Eleven Madison Park and was given the opportunity to work with the pastry chef as a stagiare, which is a form of unpaid internship in the cooking world. “I highly recommend anyone interested in the craft to...

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Throw a Pi(e) in the Face of Cancer!
Mar08

Throw a Pi(e) in the Face of Cancer!

Locally owned Sweets So Geek and Young Professionals for the American Cancer Society (YPACS) will be hosting a charity art show to help fund cancer research and the Live Bold fund created by the Fort Wayne Small Business Owner’s Association in honor of local entrepreneur Lindsey Hively and other business owners who have left us too soon. On March 12th, the Saturday before Pi Day, Sweets So Geek will be displaying and auctioning pie pans that were passed out to area artists (including the Komets and the Mad Ants) with the instructions to “make art.” This art will both be a celebration of local creativity, a quirky fun celebration of Pi Day, and once sold, will benefit two great causes. An auction will also be held for the right to throw a whipped cream pie in the face of local celebrities! The target will be able to bid against everyone there to avoid taking the pie in the kisser! The show begins at 6:00 pm, and all art will be sold via silent auction ending at 9:00 pm. All proceeds will go directly to the American Cancer Society and the Live Bold fund. The entire community is invited to come out, bid on one of a kind art, and enjoy a fun and unique event. If unable to make it to the event, donations can be made directly to the American Cancer Society through the Relay For Life of Fort Wayne under the YPACS team. Sweets So Geek will also have Pi Day contests, awarding the customer who can recite Pi to the farthest decimal with a full pie and their name engraved in a trophy pie pan, to be displayed permanently at the store. There will also be music entertainment from School of Rock, a cash bar by CS3’s, live art being created, Pi(e) themed desserts, and more! Visit the Facebook event for updates! About Sweets So Geek Sweets So Geek started as a hobby for former pastry chef Chad Seewald and blossomed into a profession. Making a few Star Wars chocolates for friends and family, the hobby moved into an Etsy store, then into a commercial kitchen, and now into a full retail location specializing in custom one-of-a kind cakes, ice cream, gourmet desserts, chocolates, and more that you just can’t find anywhere else. About Young Professionals for the American Cancer Society (YPACS) YPACS is a community-based voluntary organization comprised of young adults dedicated to the American Cancer Society in its mission to eliminate cancer through research, education, advocacy, and service. YPACS advances the mission of the American Cancer Society through fundraising, public relations, and promoting cancer awareness...

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Indulge in Delicious Baked Delights at Vanilla Bean
May20

Indulge in Delicious Baked Delights at Vanilla Bean

Looking for a sweet treat made from real, natural, and fresh ingredients that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face? Then put that package of Chips Ahoy back on the shelf, toss your Twinkies to the dog, and head over to Vanilla Bean Unique Cookies & Cupcakes at 3410 North Anthony; or give them a call, they deliver locally and ship nationwide. The first things you’ll notice as soon as you walk in are the mouthwatering aroma of fresh baked goodness and a smiling hello. It’s a quaint space, but there’s plenty of room for a few tables and chairs to sit down and savor your dessert. A chalkboard hanging behind the display case lists the options of the day, which while I was visiting included five varieties of cookies and six cupcake choices. They also have biscotti, along with gluten free cookies…I’m reassured by the proprietor they are every bit as good as the gluten-ful versions. I sat down with Co-owner and Marketing Chef, Sandra Wharton, who is as energetic and endearing as you would want in a store full of homemade goodness. Ms. Wharton took the time to walk me through their experience being on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, how their cookies were the talk of the Daytime Emmys gift baskets in Hollywood, and the extensive process they went through to get accepted into the prestigious Specialty Food Association. Those are all very fine accomplishments and points of recognition, putting Vanilla Bean in very rare company locally. However, it seems that while Vanilla Bean is renown regionally and even nationally, it is still a hidden gem in Fort Wayne. My co-workers and I tried a number of different cupcakes and cookies and not surprisingly, we were extremely impressed. After the first bite there’s no doubt that they use real butter and sugar, no artificial stuff or substitutes. Our consensus favorite was the Lemon Ricotta cookie, which was not overly sweet or tart, just a soft, tangy, tasty delight. Not many people have nearly the sweet tooth I do, but there was something for everyone to enjoy. Seriously, I loved everything, enough so that it doesn’t make sense for me to try and describe each one – check out their website and you can see that they’ve already done that for you. All I can say is you cannot go wrong with whatever you choose. Some of my other favorites were the Cinnamon Toast cupcake, the Chocolate Dream cupcake, the Simply Vanilla cupcake, the Cherry Chip Cordial cookie, the Funky Chocolate Chip, Toffee, & Pecan cookie, and the Margarita sandwich cookie – did I mention I have an insatiable sweet tooth? And don’t hesitate...

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