After less than three months in business, Melissa Hanna and Laurel Tincher are ditching their Little Spoon Desserts truck (Twitter: @weliketospoon) in favor of a new business model: selling Little Spoon's desserts on other trucks. They've already partnered with fellow Road Stoves clients the Nom Nom truck and Willoughby Road, who will start serving desserts next week.
Recently launched Willoughby Road will sell a caramel cinnamon pecan bar and a double fudge brownie to sweeten their nouveau Southern fare. Popular banh mi purveyor the Nom Nom truck will sell lemon, coconut and ginger flavored pastries, although exactly what type is still being determined.
"It's important not just to master the flavor but the right format," Hanna says. "Were still working on whether it will be cookies, cupcakes or something else." Little Spoon works closely with each truck to pair the appropriate desserts with their cuisine. No two trucks will sell the same desserts. And all of the sweets are made fresh by local bakers and caterers, many of whom sell certain items exclusively to Little Spoon. These will include a line of "couture cupcakes" in flavors like espresso, lemon ginger, spiced chocolate and green tea white chocolate.
By mid-February, Little Spoon expects to have another five to seven trucks selling their desserts. They're even considering offering a rewards card: sample a dessert from every truck and perhaps you'll receive a free treat.
In addition, Little Spoon has just contracted with local mini-chain Groundwork to provide vegan desserts for all five of their coffee shops. These include classic chocolate chip cookies, brownie bites, carrot cake, lemon cake and their crowning glory, a fudge cake with mocha "cream" filling. Also, look for raspberry fudge and white cakes on Valentine's Day. Groundwork has previously carried vegan desserts from a patchwork array of vendors. To launch the partnership, Groundwork operations manager Robert Mozejewski will host a party on either Feb. 11 or 12, probably at their Hollywood location featuring live music, free brewed coffee and samples of Little Spoon's cakes.
While the truck is being unwrapped, cleaned out and prepare for the next enterprising foodie, the budding entrepreneurs are expanding their catering and wholesale business.
Shortly after Little Spoon launched, Hanna and Tincher started getting phone calls from people requesting wholesale orders. "We were very surprised because we did not go into business to be a wholesale company," Hanna says.
After convoying with other trucks several times -- Little Spoon regularly parked in front of the Brig on Tuesday nights alongside Downtown Dogs and the Grilled Cheese Truck -- Hanna also noticed that when a dessert truck was paired with savory food trucks, it did very well. "When there are a few trucks out, they do better because each truck brings its own followers," she says. The complexity of preparing baked goods on a truck made it impractical if not impossible for most trucks to prepare large batches of freshly made desserts. Enter, Little Spoon and its roster of bakers:
--Berta and Louis Ujueta, who own La Creme Bakery in Woodland Hills and are a major wholesale supplier for some of the top grocery stores in L.A., will be the premiere chef for the vegan layer cakes and will also make some of the cupcakes including the chocolate-dipped red velvet cupcake.
--Mindy Trotta of Flour Girl Desserts will make cookies, brownies, biscotti and other items.
--Logan Levant of Buttercake Bakery in West L.A. will make most of the cupcakes.
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--Christine Hanson of Auntie Fruf's Aahsome Fudge is developing chocolate recipes for Little Spoon.
--Kei Okumura of Sugarbird Sweets will make hand-crafted, flavored marshmallows.
--Carmen Lindner of Gotta Have S'More will make her muffin-shaped s'mores.
--And Samantha Page and Camilla Yates of Sweet Square have begun working on an exclusive product that has yet to be launched.