Philly is One Sweet City

By Brittany Goldberg

From the fondant masterpieces of Cake Boss’ Buddy Valastro’s Carlo’s Bakery to the simple (healthy) sweets of P.S. & Co., there is no shortage of confections in Philadelphia. Desserts is just stressed spelled backwards, so indulge us as we explore the growing trends of Philadelphia’s dessert market.

Though cake bakeries are nothing new, Carlo’s Bakery brings an imaginative edge to a traditional bakery with its popular decorative baked goods. Carlo’s Bakery takes your traditional cake and raises it a very cool, very colorful masterpiece. More and more, consumers today are expecting products tailored to their individual lifestyles and preferences… if you can personalize your shoes, why can’t you personalize your cake? We, for one, are looking forward to the “Cake Boss” bringing his pastries, cookies and cakes to 2101 Walnut Street this year. It is a unique addition to the ever-expanding “Rittenhouse West” Walnut corridor and we’re proud to have helped them land a home in our fine city.

On the other side of the sugary goods spectrum lies the health-conscious sweets. Yes, we said it, and no, it’s not an oxymoron! The organic, vegan, and gluten-free consumer markets are rapidly growing, and as the sale of these packaged goods grew in stores, the market for retail outlets focusing on these products was born. P.S. & Co. was developed by Andrea Kyan to satisfy her sweet tooth after adopting a vegan lifestyle in 2007. She is helping others satisfy that sweet tooth without sacrificing health and wellness. Her almond butter cookies, organic chocolate spiced coconut macaroons, chocolate sable and sweet spreads are made with organic, plant-based, unrefined ingredients so there’s no guilt in indulging. From humble beginnings in an East Falls basement to a gorgeous (MSC Retail sourced) flagship in Rittenhouse, she is leading this sector’s growth in Philadelphia.

As you’ve certainly noticed, and hopefully read our blog post, our city (and cities across the country), are becoming fitness driven urban cores. From Flywheel to Purebarre, runs along the Schuylkill River Trail and treks up and down the Rocky steps, Philadelphia is rapidly shedding its reputation as a cheesesteak mecca and becoming one fit town. However, we are also known as one of America’s greatest food cities, and what better way to meld the two than to offer desserts that allow us to indulge while eating smart. This is certainly a trend, and one we hope is here to stay. And, well, that brings us to frozen yogurt — or fro-yo, as it’s now known. While there is a large variety of frozen yogurt franchises out there, MSC Retail client Yogorino serves only a single-flavor yogurt made from organic ingredients and six strains of probiotics. Yogorino serves its frozen yogurt in a dish or a cone because it’s so creamy you can eat it like ice cream, but so healthy you can enjoy it sans guilt.

Another MSC Retail client, Brown Betty Dessert Boutique, stays sweet with classic cakes (and cupcakes). Brown Betty is run by three generations of bakers in honor of the family matriarch, Betty. Their Northern Liberties location – known as the “Pantry” – not only serves as a bakehouse for their vintage recipes, but also as a party and event space complete with stencil flooring, vintage tables and chairs and a wall decorated with bundt pans. Sallie Marie’s Sour Cream Cupcake is proof that this bakery is more than just a birthday business…