‘Tis officially candy season—our favorite time of year—which starts with pilfered Almond Joys from our little goblins’ Halloween stash and ends with the last of the candy canes nibbled just before New Year’s resolutions. And it’s no coincidence that Michael Chinn and Crystal Rice chose now to open their new Phinney Ridge candy shop, Violet Sweet Shoppe. Specializing in a small, well-curated selection of vegan sweets, the duo clearly know their audience.
photo: Chelsea Lin
Twice as Nice
Chinn and Rice aren’t new to Seattle’s sweet scene—the couple own a Laurelhurst bakery, also called Violet Sweet Shoppe, that puts out some seriously stunning and delicious egg- and dairy-free treats. Think beautiful fruit tarts, expertly decorated cakes, giant cookies, and even milkshakes. You’ll spot some of these baked goods at the new Violet as well, though they’re limited to what can be easily packaged and transported across town. Keep in mind that Chinn says even though Violet is entirely vegan, most of their customers are not!
Not that there’s anything wrong with a Hershey’s kiss, but the bean-to-bar chocolates here are the star of the show, and of a caliber you won’t find going through that trick-or-treat bag. Chinn says he’s chosen bars produced by small companies from all over the country that make their own chocolate in-house. Mind you, some of these sell for $10 a bar but, as we’ve learned with wine, you generally get what you pay for.
photo: Chelsea Lin
A in Aesthetics
Rice has an eye for design that shows in the newest Violet. An assortment of vintage plates and glass jars are used to display the wares, some of the prettiest bird wallpaper we’ve seen lines the front counter, and there are bouquets of fresh flowers. Bonus: Seasonal displays like the assortment of black-and-orange Halloween goodies you’ll currently find, make this space extra sweet.
There are gelatin-free gummy worms and fruit juice lollipops and all manner of naturally sweet treats, but the youngest chocoholics will adore the bars from Chocolate Hollow, a Vermont-based confectionery that specializes in vegan “milk” chocolate that uses dried soymilk rather than traditional milk powder. If you like Nutella—is there anyone who doesn’t like Nutella?—you’ll want to try the hazelnut truffle log.
Got a party coming up? Violet does much of its business in custom cake orders out of its Laurelhurst bakery, which customers on the west side can now place and pick up from the Phinney Ridge location. Order 48 hours in advance—just look at these Frankencakes below! Check out the full menu on Violet Sweet Shoppe’s website.
photo: Violet Sweet Shoppe’s Facebook page
Hours: Wed.-Mon 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Closed Tues.
What’s your favorite candy to indulge in this time of year? Be sweet and leave us a note in the comments below.