Adding to the already outstanding array of gourmet shops at the Clock Tower Place is a new French-style patisserie, specializing in the delicate yet delicious art of petit fours and handmade pastries. Sweet Hearts Patisserie has opened its doors, and is filling the void for a fantastic bakery in the center. Originally started from her home in Northern Virginia, owner and pastry chef Kristen D’Angelo has developed quite a following for Sweet Hearts Patisserie selling her goods at farmer’s markets and through her website. By offering a product that is unique and as attractive to the eye as it is to the stomach, Sweet Hearts has been able to separate itself from the competition.
The new store at Clock Tower Place has much more than just petit fours of course. There are fresh croissants, cakes, éclairs, cupcakes, cake pops, pudding, cookies, and bread as well as coffee, tea, and espresso drinks. The shop is open at 7:00am and has a variety of breakfast pastries as well for morning commuters and early birds. The space itself has undergone a dramatic transformation. It now features a beautiful crystal chandelier, soft gray walls and plush velvet seating, with soft pastel accents. It feels very elegant, very Parisian.
Although not French herself, D’Angelo has always been inspired by the beauty and elegance of all things French, and has studied in the south of France.
“When you walk into a patisserie in France, it is a complete experience, not just a momentary indulgence, soon to be forgotten. Everything is displayed so beautifully, you could spend hours just looking at the pastries and imagining how good they are. I want to bring that experience here to Annapolis. Our culture in the U.S. makes us feel guilty about eating sweets. As a pastry chef, I want to create an experience that encourages people to take the time to enjoy the little things, like pastries, and not feel bad about it. I believe in having a little bit of something really indulgent every day. That’s why I love petit fours. They are small, yet luxurious (not to mention delicious!)”
Kristen studied Pastry Arts at the renowned Culinary Institute of America’s Napa Valley campus. She was given the Baking Achievement Award for outstanding performance in the program, and has since worked at several bakeries and restaurants in New York City and New Jersey. A native of Staten Island, NY, she moved to Fairfax, VA when her fiancé, Josh Rowell, took a job in Washington D.C. Since moving to the area, they had made several trips to Annapolis, fell in love with the city and decided to move here.
Sweet Hearts Patisserie will fit in well with its neighbors, Wine Cellars of Annapolis, Tastings Gourmet Market, and My Butcher and More. The bakery specializes in wedding and event catering, and this has certainly become the go-to shopping center for any sort of gastronomic entertaining. You can pick up your wine, cheese, sandwiches, and dessert and make a lovely picnic at nearby Quiet Waters Park, or you can throw a fabulous dinner party featuring all the gourmet offerings of Clock Tower Place.