Shelley Marshall wants to share some appetizing news.
Her bakery, Park City Desserts, which has been serving gluten-free, vegan and paleo pastries to the area for the past three years, has expanded and recently moved into its new location in the Rockwell Listening Room, 268 Main St.
Marshall, who owns Park City Desserts + Coffee with Joe Davis, said she is lucky to open a Main Street space, but also fortunate to be safely open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We knew there might be an opportunity for our business to grow, but not necessarily to move to Main Street, so we were super excited when the space became available,” Marshall said. “We feel lucky and happy for the Rockwell Room.”
Still, COVID-19 has impacted Marshall’s business plan for the moment.
“We weren’t able to hire more people, so we’ve been taking things very slowly on a super-tight budget,” she said. “We know there is still a lot of uncertainty, and business traffic is overall slower than it normally would be. And you can bet that we don’t take this for granted at all.”
The idea to open an organic and gluten-free dessert service in 2017 sprung from Marshall’s gluten-free diet.
“It was always such a bummer going to events and not being able to eat things during the celebrations,” she said. “One year, my mom, who is great, found these wonderful gluten-free cupcakes that I could have at my brother’s wedding.”
Those cupcakes inspired Marshall to create treats for others who are on a restricted diet.
“I really wanted to make sure we focused on healthier options and allergy-conscious catering, and after I started making gluten-free desserts, I had heard about places in New York that were serving raw and vegan desserts,” she said. “So I started experimenting with raw, vegan and dairy-free ingredients. And it kept growing from there.”
Marshall also had to learn baking from, well, scratch.
“Truthfully, I’m not a baker at heart, and I didn’t wake up and say I wanted to bake for a living,” she said. “I’m a registered nurse, and I was an ice skating coach.”
Still, working in those fields showed Marshall the importance of healthy nutrition.
“As a part of being a coach, I would try to teach my students how to eat better, and that grew into health coaching,” she said. “It was a different perspective on how to make healthy eating fun, and since I have my own kids, who are 11 and 15, I really needed ‘healthy’ to be fun.”
The challenge in making a menu that includes raw fudge cakes, paleo banana bread and keto macaroons, is finding the right ingredients.
“It became very time consuming in the beginning to see what I could get access to in terms of organics and high-quality, healthy stuff at a reasonable cost so I could reasonably charge my clients and still make a living,” she said.
Since organic ingredients cost more, Marshall adjusted her cooking process.
“Normally, a chef would plan pasta sauce and come up with a recipe and then go buy the ingredients, but I had to see what I could find before I could come up with a menu,” she said. “So I would search for stuff first, and once I found them, I would come up with things I could make that would be really yummy.”
Marshall especially enjoys creating the raw and vegan desserts.
“They’re so unique, and not a lot of people are doing this,” she said. “I like the challenge of making these desserts look beautiful with these natural ingredients.”
In addition to her own food, Marshall has partnered with other like-minded businesses to expand her menu.
Those partnerships include LuAnn’s Cupcakes and Luna’s Kitchen, to name a couple.
“We wanted to make it more of a coffee shop that highlights the artisans we work with who are doing wonderful things with the food,” she said. “This was also important to me when we moved into the cafe. I wanted to have them in our case for those who want something more ‘naughtier,’ but still gluten-free.”
The public can place orders with Park City Desserts by calling 435-922-0059, emailing [email protected] or visiting parkcitydesserts.com.
Orders can be picked up at the store or delivered, according to Marshall.
“We deliver for a small fee, and we add on decorations — balloons and flowers — provided from different vendors and artisans,” she said.
The cafe itself is also open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Marshall said.
“We do take reservations for small birthday parties and other special events, and if people want to set up a time to come in, we can accommodate that, especially on the weekend,” she said.
Park City Desserts also offers catering.
Marshall said relocating to Main Street couldn’t have happened without assistance.
“We’ve been way busier than we thought we would be, and I’ve had some baker friends who offered to help,” she said. “We’ve also had Mountain Town Music volunteer Daniel Lewis schedule some events here to introduce more people to us.”
Marshall is also grateful to Park City and the Summit County Health Department.
“They helped get us right into the space quickly,” she said. “I feel so lucky in this time where the world is in chaos. It’s all been pretty magical expanding our business.”