We first met Gwyneddh Jones of Bittersweet’s Chocolate and Pastry in conjunction with Handpicked | A Different Kind of Bridal Event (2013), last November. Gwyneddh (like Anna-Jeannine) has an often-misspelled name, commands a crew in true Captain style, and boasts a rarely-rivaled flair for the out-of-the-ordinary. Also: she is strong on game, when it comes to shoes. Seriously. Gwyn just rocks.
Like Something New Entertainment, Bittersweet’s operation is the result of a uniquely-paired collaboration of a talented husband-wife team. Executive Chef Todd Horvath brings much of the culinary arts experience to the table, while Gwyn’s fiercely entrepreneurial spirit drives operations.
We love Bittersweet’s Chocolate and Pastry because of their “triple-threat” artistic versatility, dedication to quality (read: YUMMY flavors), and their great personalities. Whether you’re looking for a traditional tiered cake or something inspired by your own quirky ideas of what a cake COULD be, Bittersweet’s Chocolate and Pastry is a great resource for creative design and flavors with delightfully-vivacious staff of people who are passionate about helping you execute your vision to create something uniquely “you.”
On with the interview:
Something New Entertainment’s DJ Anna-Jeannine “AJ9” Herman: What first interested you in owning a pastry shop?
Bittersweet’s Chocolate and Pastry’s Todd Horvath: I had always wanted to study art, but my parents were very practically-minded and steered me away from that. I went to culinary school and found that pastry was a great way to let my artistic side out.
DJ AJ9: How long have you been creating confections for weddings?
Bittersweet’s Chocolate and Pastry’s Gwyneddh Jones: We never really INTENDED to be wedding professionals, but from the time we opened, people asked us about wedding cakes and we stepped up! This is our fourth year that we’ve really felt we specialize in weddings.
DJ AJ9: Do you do custom design work? What about display stands and towers? Delivery?
GJ: Every couple we deal with is different and thus we ONLY do custom design work. We do offer cake stands, and if we don’t have one you like, we can probably help you find one. We deliver all our wedding cakes because if something goes wrong in the course of delivery or setup, we’re equipped to deal with it. We’ve delivered as far as three hours away!
DJ AJ9: What kinds of creative confections do you offer for an outside-the-cake-box couple?
TH: Whatever they want! We relish the opportunity to work with unique customers. We’re both sort of oddballs ourselves, honestly.
DJ AJ9: What do you enjoy most about creating sweets for wedding clients?
TH: I like being able to look at the cake as a blank canvas and a chance to represent what the couple truly is as opposed to “just a wedding cake.”
DJ AJ9: What is the most important consideration couples should make when choosing a bakery for their wedding?
GJ: For the love of everything sacred, hire a professional. One of the saddest things I encounter in my work are brides calling us a day or two before the wedding, in desperate need of a cake because their friend-aunt-cousin-et cetera who had promised to make their cake fell through at the last minute.
DJ AJ9: What’s the difference between a full-service pastry shop and just a “regular” bakery?
GJ: I think what sets us apart is our completeness. We’re so much more than cakes.
TH: We sell everything that promotes tooth rot.
DJ AJ9: LOL!
DJ AJ9: How many flavors do you offer, and what is the process for choosing flavors?
GJ: We offer twelve types of cake, eleven icings, thirteen different fillings, twenty-four types of chocolate truffles, ten different mini pastries, and . . . an expanding list of macaron flavors that currently sits at eight. We help our clients narrow things down by guiding them through tastings.
DJ AJ9: What’s the question I’m not asking you but you wish I would, or What’s the question that clients usually don’t ask you but you wish they would?
TH: I wish clients would ask me “What do you think?” After all these years making cakes, I have some pretty fabulous ideas stored that fall way outside the constraints of your average wedding cake and would love a chance to implement them.
DJ AJ9: What do you look for in a great DJ and/or lighting designer and what are your DJ/lighting designer pet peeves? How can your DJ and lighting design “co-workers” help you, hurt you, or irritate you throughout the day?
GJ: PLEASE put some light on the cake! I get so sad when we make this beautiful cake and it gets hidden in a dark corner!
About Gwyneddh Jones, Todd Horvath, and Bittersweet’s Chocolate and Pastry: We opened up in 2009- the way things fell in place, our opening actually occurred eighteen days after Todd and I were married. It was a busy month! We’re perennial fixtures on the Akron-Canton Hot List, a preferred vendor for Handpicked and have been featured on Style Me Pretty.
Todd attended Hocking College and I attended Kent State University. We were married on October 31, 2009- I wore black and we drove away in a hearse. We live in Munroe Falls. Fun Facts: We’re both left-handed and our household includes seven (yes, seven) cats, a Pug, and a French Bulldog.