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BY SARAH GISH, The Kansas City Star, MARCH 21, 2016
When writing about food, I make it a rule to reserve the word “decadent” for over-the-top indulgences such as towering layer cakes, oversized cookies and ice cream sundaes dripping with chocolate sauce.
All of those things are on the menu at Decadent — A Coffee and Dessert Bar. The sweet shop nestled in Overland Park’s Prairiefire development also serves softball-sized cupcakes, house-made doughnuts, cinnamon buns and all kinds of Parisi coffee drinks, from espresso shots to coconut-kissed lattes.
Decadent opened in December and is the creation of Jeff Martin, founder of the rapidly expanding Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery chain.
Smallcakes, which now has about 160 locations worldwide, is all about grab-and-go treats. Decadent serves the small-batch cupcakes and ice cream that Smallcakes is known for — but the shop also offers scratch-made, beautifully plated desserts like you’d order at an upscale restaurant.
“You just don’t have to go through three or four courses to get to it,” Martin said, adding that he hopes to eventually expand the Decadent concept with additional locations.
“I think Decadent is the future for fast-casual desserts.”
On Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, there’s often a line outside Decadent’s door. The most-requested menu item is easily the skillet chocolate chip cookie ($6), baked fresh and served warm in a hot cast iron skillet with a scoop of smooth vanilla bean ice cream and drizzles of caramel and hot fudge.
“It’s so simple, but people love it,” Martin says. “They go like hotcakes.”
Other chef-inspired desserts on Decadent’s menu include molten lava cake ($7.95), carrot cake with cinnamon ice cream ($6) and lemon mascarpone cake ($6.50). I particularly like the lemon cake, with its creamy frosting and baked-in blueberries. Its flavors are fit for spring.
If you stop by Decadent on a warm afternoon, peruse the ice cream case. Each flavor is made in small batches and inspired by a Smallcakes cupcake. Options change daily but might include Lily’s strawberry, red velvet and salted caramel crunch. A single scoop costs $3.50.
I like the shop’s salted caramel crunch cupcake ($3.50), which tops deep, dark chocolate cake with caramel frosting, sea salt and chopped pretzel. The rich, sticky frosting reminds me of Rolo chocolate-covered caramels, my go-to candy during childhood.
If you were more of a Pop-Tarts or Twinkies kid, fear not: Decadent serves house-made versions of both. The shop also allows customers to design custom ice cream sandwiches. Pick two cookies and an ice cream flavor and a Decadent employee will make the sandwich before your eyes.
Decadent is dessert-centric, but during the day, it has a coffee shop vibe. The space has concrete floors, an industrial gray color scheme, big windows and an accent wall painted flamingo pink. If you’re there in the morning, try a cappuccino ($3.25 for a small) or fresh-squeezed orange juice ($3.50) with a croissant or muffin.
The shop also serves a few savory items, including a breakfast sandwich called the Southern Charm Biscuit ($6) layered with eggs, turkey sausage and Cheddar cheese.
Not decadent enough for you? Go for it with the Hot Donuts dessert ($5), two warm glazed doughnuts topped with vanilla ice cream and powdered sugar. Everything in moderation, right?
Sarah Gish: 816-234-4823, @sarah_gish
August 24, 2015–From the Kansas City Star. BY JOYCE SMITH
Jeff Martin, founder of Smallcakes A Cupcakery, is kicking off another new concept in Overland Park.
Decadent — A Coffee and Dessert Bar will take the former Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates space at 5601 W. 135th St., Suite 2220, in the upscale Prairiefire development. Decadent, which will have an urban industrial decor, is scheduled to open in mid-to-late September.
It will offer a custom coffee blend from Parisi Artisan Coffee and serve espressos, lattes and other coffee drinks. It also will offer muffins, croissants, danishes and a line of specialty doughnuts, including red velvet, glazed, maple bacon and sprinkles.
For dessert it will have small-batch ice creams in flavors like pecan pie, maple bacon, vanilla bean, red velvet and iced doughnut, as well as a full line of cupcakes, cookies, brownies, pies and small cakes, all made on-site. Later this fall it will add a selection of craft beers and wines, as well as Hot Toddy cocktails.
Martin said he wants Decadent to be a place where customers can hang out in the mornings over a cup of coffee, as well as a place to stop in for an after-school snack, or on a date after dinner or a movie.
Martin founded Smallcakes in Overland Park in 2008 and now has 120 locations across the country and in Dubai. He opened Smallcakes Creamery and Novelties a year ago at 6936 W. 135th St. in Overland Park, offering a variety of ice cream flavors, novelty candy and house-made bakery items including peanut butter pretzels and cookie sandwiches.
Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates, Wichita, closed in late July after just 15 months in Prairiefire.
August 29, 2015–from Thinking Bigger Business Media Inc. by James Hart
It’s only been a few years since Jeff Martin dreamed up Smallcakes, the fast-growing chain of cupcake stores, but he’s already launching a new eatery—one that combines the fast-casual model with high-quality sweets.
Decadent is set to open in late September or early October in Overland Park’s Prairiefire shopping center. The idea is to serve up chef-inspired desserts without forcing customers to go to a formal sit-down restaurant.
“I want to stay in the dessert business,” Martin said, “and there’s a need for a fast-casual dessert concept.”
Martin had been mulling over the idea for Decadent for about six months. Plans kicked into high gear when Prairiefire approached him about an opening it had.
Decadent will also be open in the mornings, serving pastries, danishes and other sweet treats, along with coffee, a first for one of Martin’s businesses. The eatery will offer wines and craft beers, as well as a lineup of pies. All of Decadent’s ice cream and baked goods will be made in-house.
Does Martin want to turn Decadent into a franchise like Smallcakes, which has about 120 locations? He’s already received inquiries about that, and while it’s an option, he wants to take two years to refine Decadent’s concept and menu before aiming for big growth.
Martin and his wife will be making many of those tweaks themselves. They plan to spend more time working in Decadent, at least to start. It’ll be a nice change of pace after the past few years, when he’s been dedicated to scaling up Smallcakes.
“I’m going to play a bigger (day-to-day) role than I have with Smallcakes in the past five years,” said Martin.
Want to learn more about how Martin and his team built Smallcakes? Check out Thinking Bigger Business’ profile of the company!