Welcome back to another installment of Real Weddings Magazine’s Partner Profiles!

Today, we highlight the delightfully wonderful Carissa Jones from Sugar and Spice Specialty Desserts. Frankly, the word YUM just doesn’t quite cover it with Carissa’s creations — they’re just aren’t enough superlatives available to use to accurately reflect the tastiness of her desserts. From wedding cakes to dessert bars, Carissa’s desserts are delish!

Take it away Carissa!

Sugar and Spice Specialty Desserts

Tell us a little about your company?  Dessert is the last, best, and frequently most talked about part of the meal, why not make it a WOW!? We love making dessert bars that work as a centerpiece for events ranging from weddings to corporate. We not only design a beautiful display that coordinates with your event, but we also make everything from scratch and based on the flavors and desserts that YOU like… no menu here, just lots of creativity and flexibility!

When did you establish your business?  We started out extremely slowly, in 2005, and after a couple of mis-starts we started picking up steam in 2008 with the creation of our Web site. (Keep an eye on us… we’ve got all sorts of excitement on the horizon!)

What sets you apart from your competition?  Yes, we make cakes (wedding, birthday, sculpted and otherwise), but what we REALLY LOVE to make are all things mini. That is a huge differentiating factor, but another one is that our founder Carissa Jones didn’t start as a cake decorator (even though she’s amazing with the frosting!), she started out as a pastry chef. Everything is about the flavor… and not necessarily her favorites, it’s all about YOU and YOUR favorites!

Where do you find inspiration?  EVERYWHERE! We know, everyone says this, but we always ask our clients to bring in paint swatches, pictures of their venue, invitations, logos or other details that can help provide inspiration. We also find it’s important to talk to our clients. You never know where inspiration may come from and we’ve had some fun results based on a off hand comment. (A perfect example is a client who loves sorbet and all things from their childhood. One of the desserts we’ll be serving at their wedding will be lemon-blueberry push-up pops. How cool is that!)

When you opened shop, what was your promise to your customers?  … and it still is! “Desserts as unique and special as you and your event.”

Do you have any hidden talents?  hmmm, I’m a wiz at research. Any topic!

Photo by True Love Photo.

What trend do you see more and more of? ummm, dessert bars! (of course!) In all seriousness, my clients are just discovering that they don’t have to have a cake to make their event amazing. Trends in cakes, fondant is out. Buttercream is queen! Fondant decorations are still being used, but more as accents.

Do you regularly blog? What’s your blog site?  You betcha! Blogging is like an ongoing conversation with our clients. We’re able to update the blog so much more than the site, and it’s a more comfortable, and at times, more personal view into the business. Find our blog through our Web site: SugarAndSpice.me.

Photo by StellaSweet Photography.

What’s your favorite local restaurant?  Sequoia in Placerville. The wine selection is great and the food is solid with crazy (dramatic!) old school menu options like Steak Dianne!

What’s your favorite local charity?  Jr. Chef Central

What is your favorite fun thing to do locally?  Kayaking on Lake Natoma, wine tasting with my husband… El Dorado Foothills, Amador, Napa, Santa Barbara… we love it all

Do you have secret vice or indulgence? What is it?  ooohhh, sigh, cheese. Heaven on earth is made of gone off milk and bugs. I love it, cow, goat, sheep, water buffalo, it’s all good… even when it’s bad, it’s still good. Runny, bleu, hard… mmmmm, give me a good French loaf and a bottle of wine and don’t ask to share.

What are you most grateful for in life?  My family (and this absolutely includes my husband!). I work long hours, nights, weekends and holidays and not only do the just roll with it, but they are always supportive and encouraging. Actually, my Dad and husband can’t wait to quit their day jobs and come work for me! (Can you say delivery driver, counter help and dishwasher?)

If you were to plan your own wedding, or re-do your wedding, what elements would be most important to you?  I was an “encore” bride just a couple of years agoand for us (and we’d do it again!) it was all about the food and wine. That being said, I did an event last year with Anna Hernandez of Whitebird Ceremonial Dove Releases and I SOOOO wish we’d incorporated the doves into our ceremony. It was so moving I almost cried… that hasn’t happened since the last amazing piece of cheese I ate!

What advice would you can give to brides and grooms getting married today?  Sort out your priorities and pare down your guest list. You can do amazing, crazy details when you have 50 guests that just are out of the question when you have 150.

Anything else you’d like to share with Real Weddings Magazine’s brides?  A new trend that I’m seeing that is helpful in keeping your vision on track (and defining your style) is to create an inspiration board. It’s a great way to have pictures of what you like in one place so your vendors can get an immediate feel for your vision and aesthetic.

Above photos by Sarah Maren Photography. Dessert signs by Stephanie J Designs .

Find out more about Carissa on her Web site: SugarAndSpice.me. Call her at 916-952-5253.

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