For the third day of Vegan MoFo, I have three words for you: Violet Sweet Shoppe.
I debated whether to write about this little patch of heaven for two reasons. First, unlike a recipe post, which potentially appeals to everyone with a kitchen, this post is about a specific place in Seattle. I got past this reservation, though, by thinking about how much people like “food porn,” hearing about and seeing photos of culinary deliciousness. My second concern was that this post would be just plain mean, because unless you live around here or are planning on passing through, you’re not going to be able to avail yourself of these goodies, and that’s sad. It’s my hope that you will be inspired to visit the area after reading this, and if you do, please let me know – we’ll meet at Violet Sweet Shoppe, of course!
So why the big wind-up? Only because this place is THE BEST bakery on the planet. Notice that I didn’t say the best vegan bakery. It’s the best bakery, period. Seriously. Given my love of vegan food (and sweets!), I’ve managed to eat at a very long list of vegan bakeries all over the world, including all the obvious spots (Los Angeles, New York, Portland, even Paris). I’ve tasted some great stuff, but I’ve never experienced anything on the level of Violet Sweet Shoppe. And I wasn’t raised a vegan, so I recall eating non-vegan baked goods in my younger days, and I’m telling you, this place is the best.
The first time I bit into one of their cupcakes… I can’t even describe the experience adequately. All of the cliches apply (angels singing, me weeping, etc.). I literally paused, eyes widened, unable to take it in for a second.
It was insanely moist, filled with something creamy, topped with a divine frosting, and packing a wallop of flavor. My mind and taste buds were blown. Meanwhile, Queenie was going to town on a snickerdoodle, which she said was the best one she’d ever had.
Violet Sweet Shoppe is the creation of husband-and-wife team, Crystal Rice and Mike Chinn (some info: http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=5864&catId=8 ), and Crystal is a goddess of all things sweet. She’s working some serious magic here. All of her cupcakes are filled, and her flavors are inventive and delicious, with the selection rotating daily. There’s always a milkshake of the day and an assortment of cookies (rosewater, anyone?!). The fruit tarts are perfection, and the cakes look like heaven on a plate. I will, without a doubt, be getting all of my family’s future birthday cakes from Crystal.
And to top everything off, the little shop itself is absolutely adorable, with a charming retro flair. The perfect spot to sit down and savor something yummy. You can also take their products to go, along with an assortment of vegan candies that they stock. Icing on the cake (sorry, I couldn’t resist) is the precious selection of letterpress cards. Given that I have a stationery fetish, this place couldn’t be more perfect for me. Aaaah.
One word of warning: do not put the cupcakes in your refrigerator. This past weekend, I was invited to a dinner party, and my contribution was a box full of cupcakes from Violet Sweet Shoppe. When I arrived, I set them on the counter and wandered off to mingle. Unbeknownst to me, the host stuck them in the fridge. Later, when they were served, the cake was a bit dry and the filling had hardened into a lump. A tasty lump, but still, a lump. It took me a moment to figure out what had happened. Such a bummer. Next time, I’ll be sure to write all over the box in a bright Sharpie: DO NOT PUT IN THE REFRIGERATOR!!!!