If you join a Taste of Chester Food Walking Tour you get to meet so many fab independents – 7 in fact! They include Faye & Rob – owners of Sweet Elements. We recently spoke to both of them to get some insight into their business and thoughts on the Chester food/drink scene.
Tell us about you
‘We both had very different careers before setting up Sweet Elements in Chester. Faye is half Swedish and half Maltese, was brought up in Sweden, Greece and Malta before moving to London in 2006, intending to stay for only a few months! Faye worked in property marketing for many years but always had a love of cooking and baking, so in 2015 took the pâtisserie course at Le Cordon Bleu in London and started her career as a pastry chef. Rob is from North Wales but was living and working as a lawyer in Lancashire for 15 years. Rob and Faye met in 2018 and then decided to set up Sweet Elements in Chester’
Your business – the business concept
‘Sweet Elements is a shop and café where we make everything we sell in the kitchen on site on
Northgate Street. We use classic and many modern pâtisserie techniques and high quality ingredients to create beautiful, contemporary desserts and cakes. We make a range of tarts, choux pastry, layered mousse cakes and breakfast pastries as well as macarons, biscuits and other sweet treats all of which can be enjoyed with a choice of hot and cold drinks in our café or to take away. We are committed to all our produce being made to the highest standards; not only does it have to taste exceptional but it also has to look beautiful’.
What you enjoy most about running your business
‘We love putting smiles on customers’ faces! We put a massive amount of work into making sure that the quality of what we produce is exceptional and that we provide our customers with the highest standards of customer service. We love what we do and it makes it all the more enjoyable when we receive compliments on our produce and the service we provide’
Your thoughts on the local independent food/drink scene
‘Chester has a very exciting independent food scene. There is no doubt that the independent
businesses will be key to Chester and the country’s recovery from this grim virus. For a relatively
small city, there is a good number of high quality food and drink establishments in the city and its surrounds (and it is impressive that we have 8 restaurants listed in this year’s Michelin guide). We are really happy to be located on Northgate Street which has so many independent food and drink businesses. The street is an outstanding example of how a high street can evolve and thrive. It has really changed over the last year or two; as well as the fantastic Story House it has shops, pubs, restaurants, wine bars, cafes, a live music venue, almost all of which are independent and all of which have something different to offer’
Your customers’ favourite dish / food served at Sweet Elements
‘We have made over 130 individual different desserts and cakes since we opened in June last year. We are always changing what is on the menu. This variety is something that our customers really enjoy but there are some desserts that we almost always have on the menu. One is the Paris – Brest; a choux pastry filled with a hazelnut praline pastry cream and topped with a chocolate and hazelnut craquelin. It’s one of our favourites and our customers love it! Our breakfast pastries have also proved to be really popular; we will be increasing the variety but our customers have loved the cinnamon buns and filled brioche. And then there are the macarons; we fill them with differently flavoured Valrhona chocolate ganaches, house made jams and creams and they always sell well. Finally we have had a huge number of compliments on our tea and coffee. They are sourced from a small roastery and tea supplier in North Wales. The coffee has been roasted especially for us and we have been really pleased with how much our customers have enjoyed’.