By Abby Owen
Within feet of one another, desserts compete for the attention of sweets-lovers in downtown Bellingham on Cornwall Avenue. Pure Bliss Desserts and Chocolate Necessities are two shops that share the same doorway and the same appreciation of buying local.
Pure Bliss Desserts offers a variety of desserts such as cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more that are made in the back of the shop.
Chocolate Necessities offers a huge selection of chocolates and gelato, both made in-house at its factory located on Guide Meridian Road, or in-shop on Cornwall Avenue. Both shops serve coffee, tea, beer and wine.
Instead of competing against each other, the two shops see each other as friends. Customers will get cake from Pure Bliss Desserts and then head over to Chocolate Necessities for some gelato, said Western alumna Meg Bryant.
Bryant is part of the front-of-house team for Pure Bliss Desserts. The front-of-house team are the people that serve customers, the heart-of-house is the team of people that make the food.
If they have time, Pure Bliss Desserts likes to make fun desserts for the case that are not normally offered on the menu. Right now, they’re offering a chocolate lavender cake.
“That’s my favorite off-menu treat we make,” Bryant said.
Cake flavors rotate weekly, with usually six to seven different flavors to pick from.
Bryant said some of the most popular menu items would be the chocolate bliss cake, lemon wedges and chocolate chip cookies.
Freshman Melissa Rijkers likes to eat at Pure Bliss Desserts between classes.
“It’s generally quiet, I like the atmosphere,” Rijkers said.
Bellingham resident Taeler Rains said she would recommend the carrot cake to anyone who is gluten-intolerant.
If cake doesn’t cut it, then head on over to Chocolate Necessities, where they offer a variety of different types of chocolates and flavors of gelato. Georgeos Karadimas, manager of the Cornwall store, said if the public wants to know more about the process of how they make their chocolate, they offer tours of their factory.
“They take you in the back, and show the machines and the process of it,” Karadimas said.
The tours are free, Karadimas said, just call ahead to see what kind of availability they have.
Part of Karadimas’ duties are to make gelato. With ingredients shipped in from Italy, he makes gelato about twice a week to ensure its freshness.
“Gelato is creamier than ice cream and more rich,” Karadimas said. “Because ice cream is made with a lot of powder, it is easier to eat a gallon of ice cream and not get full.”
The most popular items on the menu would be the gelato, truffles or coffee, Karadimas said.
Pure Bliss Desserts will be celebrating its seventh anniversary, coming up on Oct. 26 during normal business hours. Customers can enjoy a discount on their dessert, free petite cupcakes and drawings for prizes.