D’s Sweet Designs

EDITOR’S NOTE: Today’s review is the first of what I hope will be many reader submissions here on Indie Tulsa. This piece comes to you courtesy of Cycledog, who notes: “In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that my daughter is a part-time employee of D’s Sweet Designs. The interview this piece is based on was conducted several weeks before she was hired.” If you are interested in submitting an article to Indie Tulsa, please e-mail sundayjohn66 (at) mac (dot) com.

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D’s Sweet Designs
A custom cake and dessert boutique

Armies are said to travel on their stomachs, and that’s no less true of cyclists. We ride to eat. So it’s always a pleasure to find a new destination that sells good food.

Deanna Hernandez is the owner of D’s Sweet Designs in Owasso.  This custom bakery opened at the beginning of the year, offering cakes, cookies, and cheesecake.

Deanna says, “If you’re going to blow your diet, do it here. Eat that whole piece of cheesecake and enjoy it, but then cut out the French fries or eat a salad for lunch.”

Keep the cheesecake in mind, because we’ll return to it in a moment.

All cyclists understand the concept of balance, whether that applies to riding a bike or eating a balanced diet. But one area that Deanna talked about was definitely too intense, too immoderate to have any semblance of balance. That was passion — a passion for making good food that people like immensely.

“Everyone needs to be passionate about something. If you do what you’re passionate about, don’t worry about the money, because the money will follow. People will get excited about what you’re excited about. Success will follow. That’s part of the charm of it. I’m the little train that could. Mom-and-pop businesses feel like they’re more invested in the business, customer service, and doing a great job. I want people to feel like it’s OK to come  in and visit with us. When work feels like a hobby, it’s fun. I don’t ever want to dread coming in here to work. The ego side of me wants people to see my work and say, ‘Oh, I can see you got that from D’s Sweet Designs.'”

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I freely admit that I like mom-and-pop businesses because they’re often much more relaxed than the big franchises or chains. Business is conducted at a slower pace — a pace that makes customers feel like a valued family member, rather than a stranger who must be relieved of his money as quickly as possible and then shown the door.

Deanna was working for a gas and oil company in Houston when she started her first bakery in 2002.

“I brought cheesecake to our Christmas party. People wanted to know where I got it, and I had to tell them it was my own recipe,” she says.

She started in a small shop. No one wanted to lend her money because she had no real bakery experience — just what she’d learned at home.

“It’s a whole different animal when you’re doing it with a big oven, big mixers and all that,” she says.

She simply couldn’t raise enough money. The frustration had reduced her to tears at her desk one day. The company hedge fund manager wanted to know why she was crying. She poured her heart out, telling him that this was her dream and the lack of funds stood in the way. He asked to try a piece of her cheesecake, and after eating it, he wrote her a check to cover the balance.

That’s some very persuasive cheesecake!

Like many small business owners, she found that the store became her life.  It was successful, but the long hours took their toll.

“Working 60 to 70 hours a week is no way to live,” she says. “The original store had a long menu. I’d get there at 6 in the morning and stay until 8 at night. Fridays started at 6:30, and I worked until 2 a.m., returning at 7 a.m. on Saturday and closing at 5. I was burning out really, really fast. My family won’t let me do that again. The new shop is the only custom cake shop between Tulsa and Caney, Kansas. It’s a labor of love, nothing that I’ll ever make millions on, but it’s the sheer joy to see someone take a bite of a chocolate truffle and watch their face just melt.”

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I have a weakness for bakeries. My waistline proves it. But I can apply that concept of “balance” to my diet as well as my riding and enjoy those tasty things in life (cheesecake) in a moderate way (truffles) knowing full well that a good life (brownies) consists of yielding to temptation (chocolate-covered strawberries) now and then. Not that I think about food all the time, of course.

If you’re looking for a destination for one of your rides, consider a stop at D’s Sweet Designs. Sure, you’ll load up on calories, but you’ll do the miles to make up for them, right?

D’s Sweet Designs is located at 9100 N Garnett Road, Suite G, in Owasso. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call (918) 272-3103, visit www.dssweetdesigns.com or send an e-mail to: info (at) dssweetdesigns (dot) com.

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~ by redforkhippie on March 22, 2008.

One Response to “D’s Sweet Designs”

  1. I have totally been there and it’s amazing!

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