By Liz Premo
Atlantic News, Thursday, March 21, 2002
HAMPTON -- If you're seeking an extra-special dessert for an extra-special occasion, or if you are simply looking to enjoy a delectable breakfast or after-dinner treat, then Sweet Flours on Route 1 in Hampton is the place to visit.
For the last five years, owners David and Teryn Allen have brought to the Seacoast area some of the very finest in luscious cakes and cookies, tempting tarts and tortes, and mouthwatering breakfast pastries. Wedding cakes are a Sweet Flours specialty, and careful attention to quality and detail makes everything from this place a treat for the eye as well as the palate.
"Our biggest thing is to make things look almost as good as they taste," says David. "Of course," he says with a smile, "everything tastes great." All the baking is done in-house from scratch, he adds. "You'll never find a mix or a powder here," he says, stressing that only all- fresh ingredients and natural flavorings are used to create the desserts found at Sweet Flours.
Having been in the food industry since they were both teenagers, the Allens share years of experience between them. "I've trained as a chef; she's trained as a pastry chef," explains David, adding "I do most of the production and bookkeeping; Teryn does the decorating and bridal consultation."
David goes on to say that he and Teryn met on Martha's Vineyard, and have traveled all around the country working their pastry magic at different resorts. David notes they stumbled upon the Seacoast area "by accident," and quickly found that it had all they were looking for. The Seacoast is all the sweeter for their random discovery.
Just stepping into Sweet Flours, one can see that this is no ordinary bake shop. A rich assortment of lavishly decorated cakes and desserts is neatly displayed in one sparkling glass case, while on the other side of the counter a second case features breakfast-time pleasures like pecan sticky buns, iced raspberry Danish pastries, and blueberry muffins complete with crumbly tops. A freezer nearby holds bake-at-home cookies and breakfast items, and baskets placed here and there contain individually wrapped, frosted cookies in an assortment of shapes.
It's that case full of elegant- looking cakes that quickly captures the eye of any dessert connoisseur.
"The nice thing about us," says David, "is we offer all these different shapes and sizes of cakes from petit fours to the individual desserts, and then a whole range of sizes of cakes." Indeed, cake selections such as their Applesauce Spice Cake (with homemade apple compote and a luscious cream cheese frosting) come in 6", 8" and 10," sizes, while the Pecan Bourbon Tart. —- described as "a buttery tart with bourbon-scented filling of pecans and rich chocolate chunks" —- comes in both the 3" and 9" sizes. (Larger sizes and decorating for any occasion are also available through special orders, and special greetings can be added at no additional charge.)
Single portion desserts, like their best-selling Aztec Torte (a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate Kahlua mousse draped in dark chocolate ganache) or the four- layer Pistachio Neopolitan (created with a sponge cake bottom layer topped by two different mousse layers and a mirror glaze), fit in very well next to exquisite double-cream cheese- cakes. Glistening tarts boasting the freshest in seasonal fruit arranged atop a sweet pastry crust often accompany Sweet Flours' classic Tiramisu, with its layers of cake, cream cheese, chocolate, and a generous dusting of cocoa.
Then there's the wedding cakes. According to David, a lot of Sweet Flours business comes from these special-item orders for wedding parties numbering from eight to 300 or more guests. Several albums featuring photos of Sweet Flours wedding cakes offer the bride and groom plenty of sweet inspirations for their own wedding reception. In addition, supplying upscale restaurants and hotels as far north as Ogunquit, Maine and as far south as Newburyport, Massachusetts keep the Allens and their five staff members keeping up with the demand for the finest in cakes and confections.
David says that Sweet Flours emphasis is its "attention to detail and the quality of our product: We try to set ourselves apart from the rest of the gang." That goal is consistently accomplished at Sweet Flours, in a deliciously sweet and special way.
Sweet Flours, which is located at 836 Lafayette Road in Hampton, is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Stop by, take a seat, and enjoy one of their many breakfast items or individual desserts with a cup of hot, freshly-brewed coffee, or check out the display of quality "cakes, confections and comestibles" they offer. And, be sure to visit their Web site at www.sweeflours.com for a complete dessert menu and information regarding online ordering and nationwide shipping. For more information, call 929-2119.