Saturday, January 28, 2023

From low-sugar, to alcohol-infused cupcakes, new French Bakery opens in York County

Sweet Dreams French Bakery and Cafe opened in mid-July at 1215Q George Washington Memorial Highway. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Sweet Dreams French Bakery and Cafe Facebook)
Sweet Dreams French Bakery and Cafe opened in mid-July at 1215Q George Washington Memorial Highway. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Sweet Dreams French Bakery and Cafe Facebook)

A new bakery is bringing French pastries, alcohol, breakfast and lunch — and alcohol-infused cupcakes and donuts — to York County.

Sweet Dreams French Bakery and Cafe opened in mid-July at 1215Q George Washington Memorial Highway, near the Newport News- York County line.

The bakery is open Tuesday through Sunday and offers pastries, cupcakes, donuts and more at the counter, as well as martinis, mimosas and coffees.

The 47-seat dining room will also serve breakfast and lunch cooked by Byron Kelly, a chef trained at the David Everett restaurants in Williamsburg including the Trellis, Blue Talon and Blackbird Bakery.

The French-themed restaurant will also have low-sugar and gluten free options, as well as natural dog biscuits.

“It’s a huge French theme,” said Cindy Triplett, one of the business partners for Sweet Dreams. “It’s quaint and cozy.”

Triplett said she first got the idea to open her own business about 7 years ago when she got a copy of her great-grandmother’s pound cake recipe, as well as the pan she used to make it. 

The pound cake was a hit at Thanksgiving and Christmas parties, where Triplett would hand out her pound cake to her friends.

Then came the idea to turn a simple recipe into a full-fledged business with to-go ordering and catering options on the side.

Sweet Dreams French Bakery and Cafe opened in mid-July at 1215Q George Washington Memorial Highway. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Sweet Dreams French Bakery and Cafe Facebook)
Sweet Dreams French Bakery and Cafe opened in mid-July at 1215Q George Washington Memorial Highway. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Sweet Dreams French Bakery and Cafe Facebook)

Triplett had successfully run other small businesses before, including an accounting firm, she said.

I contacted my attorney and we coordinated an effort to put Sweet Dreams in York County,” Triplett said.

The dream continued for seven years, until recently when Triplett started talking with Sallie Messier at an annual Thanksgiving party last year. Messier told Triplett she wanted to open up a cafe, and asked if she wanted to serve her food there.

“I told her I’ve been thinking about that for the last seven years,” Triplett said.

Triplett pitched her own business plan to Messier, who came back in about 30 minutes with a “yes” for an answer.

The fledgling business appears to be a simple bakery with a counter, but once inside, customers can find breakfast and lunch — all made from scratch by Kelly.

“Everything chef makes by hand,” Triplett said, listing off quiche, crepes, French toast, breakfast sandwiches on croissants, fruit, oatmeal and yogurt. “I’ve got this balance of bad and good… healthy and [less healthy].”

So, what about those boozy baked goods? 

Triplett said Sweet Dreams is bringing the unique alcohol-infused cupcakes and donuts to Virginia, where those type of goods are rare. Businesses that sell those items must be licensed by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

Sweet Dreams is licensed and ready to go, serving cupcake flavors including spiced Captain Morgan Rum, piña colada, strawberry daiquiri, banana pudding and more. Those cupcakes cost about $5 each, or a half-dozen for $25.

While the cupcakes are now available, alcoholic “drunken” donuts will be available in the next three or four months, Triplett said.

In its first month of business, Triplett said they’ve had an “outpouring” of community support. 

Now, Sweet Dreams has big dreams for expansion.

Already, in less than a month of business, Triplett said she envisions their business growing to other parts of Virginia, first in Suffolk. After that, the business could grow to Smithfield, Nags Head, North Carolina and Virginia Beach.

“The plan is to perfect the process and put one more location in place,” Triplett said. “We want to pay this off before we really expand.”

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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