Shop Local Spotlight- Petite Sweets
Updated: Dec 6, 2020
Words by Moriah Joy. Images courtesy of Petite Sweets.
For many people, COVID-19 has impacted their way of life very differently. Many people are out of work, some are working from home and some continued working with major alterations to their business. With many small businesses unable to survive or struggling to get back on their feet, here at Spotlight, we are passionate about giving a platform to local small businesses. For this series, we will regularly feature a different small business in Hampton Roads and share their story. (Editor’s note: Want to be featured? Email us!)
This week I sat down with Sheryl Harris and Denita Twine, the owners of Petite Sweets in Portsmouth. For those who have ventured to Portsmouth or are from the area, they know what a delight this little shop truly is. These two women are not only the owners and founders of the bakery but are the sole employees. They make sure that every facet of their business meets the criteria of finding comfort and joy in the little things and little desserts, which was the inspiration for their business. Their passion for baking has always been present as they would often use baking as a way to bond with their kids. The idea for wanting to open and have an actual store came in November of 2018. At that time they began running the business from home until they were finally able to open a location in February of this past year.
Sheryl: “We believe in comfort food but we like to push the envelope and try new things.”
For people who either enjoy small indulgences, or simply like to be able to try an array of flavors, Petite Sweets is the perfect spot. The type of desserts they offer include jarred desserts (such as puddings and cheesecakes), cupcakes, and mini pies. With the market for bakeries being competitive, Sheryl and Denita are always trying to find fun new flavors and desserts for their customers to try. Some bold flavors on their menu for this month include turtle cheesecake jars, margarita cupcakes, and chocolate bourbon pecan pie. They update and change their flavors each month, making it important to keep up with their social media to keep track of favorites. [For more flavors and updates on their business, follow them on both Instagram and Facebook.]
Denita: “I think the most rewarding part of the business is the feedback we get. When we first opened, we were wondering what the customers would think, like, ‘Are they going to like it?’ Then having some of them come immediately back into the store to tell us how much they loved it- it’s really great just knowing that they’re enjoying it.”
The most difficult aspect of owning their own business so far has been getting started. After approximately one year of figuring out the best ways to efficiently make quality desserts and distribute them, they ran into unforeseen complications. March 17th, when the stay-at-home orders went into effect, Petite Sweets unfortunately had to close its doors to maintain the safety of themselves and their customers. Now since being reopened, they’ve had to change their initial business model by adding delivery through their website, since their original idea for business was reliant upon walk-up business from neighboring stores.
Sheryl: “We’re big believers in great customer service. You can go anywhere to eat a cupcake but the thing that we pride ourselves on is letting our customers know how much they’re valued.”
A typical day at the store starts out at 6:30am or 7am to start baking treats. From there the day becomes a balancing act as the two women work to both staff the storefront, keep track of paperwork, and complete deliveries for orders. The passion for their craft is apparent in the dedication they bring to making sure their products are the best quality with unparalleled customer service.
As more events are able to happen with social distancing and other precautions, Sheryl and Denita want people to know that they are open to catering events for any occasion such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and many more.
For more information, placing an order, or request catering for an event please visit their website.