Searching for the perfect holiday gift for your favorite foodie? Seattle’s Sugar & Salt Kitchen has set up shop in The Swinery’s bakery case, and on Etsy, with sweet and savory goods that make delicious presents like Bacon Pecan Brittle, Evil Chocolate Brownies, and Pumpkin Mini-Cakes.
After sampling a few of their creations, The Local Dish sat down with husband and wife co-owners, John Legge and Lil Welch, to get the inside scoop on their fantastic new business, already a darling of Seattle foodies.
The Local Dish: So what inspired you to start Sugar & Salt Kitchen?
John Legge: Well, I’ve always wanted to start my own business, and when I was laid off from Essential Bakery, I was looking for a job and trying to figure out what I wanted to do, which is when I saw an apprenticeship at The Swinery. Then, I just decided to go ahead and create items intending to sell them at local bakeries.
Lil Welch: And it was partly too, that unemployment was going on long enough that we had to think about what would happen if he couldn’t find a job right away—so it was just time for him to create his own job. We had always planned to open a café of our own in the future, so we just decided to jump-start that.
John: It would have been great to open the café now, but obviously there are a bunch of factors like, not having enough money. Obviously, with the economy the way it is right now, it might not be the best time to do something like that.
Lil: So it’s basically like a five-year plan. We’ll slowly add products to the Etsy site, and The Swinery case—all the while recipe testing. We already know we want to have yogurt and cheese made in house, as well as pickles, etc., in addition to the baked goods. We’ll eventually sell all these things at our own place.
TLD: And so right now The Swinery is the only place you’re retailing at?
Lil: Yes. Since we make the stuff at The Swinery, it makes sense to sell it there, as well as through our Etsy store. And they’re super-generous and nice to work with, so we lucked out. I feel lucky.
TLD: Can you talk a little bit about the name?
John: We were trying to think of a name that didn’t pigeonhole us into just a bakery, so it would apply to our future space. Yes, I do a lot of baking, my background is as a baker, but we also do a lot of experimenting in the kitchen for meals too. So we didn’t want to pick a name that would only apply to a bakery in the future.
Lil: Yeah, we wanted to come up with a name that would express both our interests: baking, but also other types of cooking. We knew we wanted to do dairy, too, so we needed something that would apply to everything. We kind of thought of the name originally as…these are the two things we do: sugar AND salt”. And then, just the nature of selling baked goods a butcher shop made it seem more like a good combo: sugar & salt – together. The baked goods we make without bacon (like the Evil Chocolate Brownies) don’t sell as well there as they do on Etsy. And I’m the salt. He’s the sugar! People tend to think because I’m the girl, I’m sugar. It’s not true.
TLD: So did you tailor your goods to the butcher shop then? For instance, coming up with baked goods that included bacon?
John: Yeah, it kind of just turned out that way…
Lil: You know, to me, I definitely thought that bacon was a trend that was going to be over by now. I mean, not because bacon isn’t GOOD, but just because of the availability of bacon items, I thought people would be over it by now. But, bacon is still going strong! It’s still catching the public’s attention. You have to think that eventually we’re going to take bacon as far as it’s going to go—but for now, we’re continuing to create new baked items with bacon from Zoe’s Meats.
TLD: That’s good news! As a bacon lover, and a devotee to all things sweet and salty, I approve.
Having tried the Evil Chocolate Brownies, the Bacon Caramels, and the Bacon Pecan Brittle, this writer can attest to the supreme yumminess of treats made by Sugar & Salt Kitchen, and highly recommends you give them a try. Also available: Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies, Bacon Joys, Bacon Shortbread Cookies, full-size Pumpkin Cakes, and non-bacon Homemade Joys with Almonds.
If you’re in Seattle, swing by their retail location for a quick chocolate fix, and if you’re not, check out their Etsy store. All their goods are made to order and shipped ASAP for maximum freshness so place your holiday order now. You can follow Sugar and Salt Kitchen on Facebook or Twitter for updates on new items!