Owner Brian Fishman and his wife, Jennifer Blau-Fishman, have been serving up well-crafted treats to the East Meadow and surrounding community for the past eighth years. Fishman took the time to give Patch the lowdown on his background, how started and what makes it a success.
How long have you been in the bakery business?
"I've been in the hospitality business for 22 years. I have been a pastry chef for 18. I kind of got thrown into it when I was working in Panama Hatties. The chef was actually doing the dessert and he saw that I have the skills so he passed it on to me. From there I surrounded myself with some of the best people in the pasty business and I took classes. I graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1991 for culinary."
When did Sweet Karma first open
"We opened Sweet Karma in 2003 as a wholesale business. Everyone in the neighborhood was banging on the door and wondering what we were doing and they asked us to open up a quality bakery in the area. They wanted something a little different. Almost every bakery you go into, they all offer the same stuff. I am a restaurant-trained chef so I translated that knowledge into stuff that I knew people wanted to eat."
Why did you pick East Meadow?
"Originally, I was friendly with the landlord and I picked the location. We wanted to see the viability of the industry here and it has been great. We are loving it here."
What are your most popular desserts?
"We do a large variety of individual dessert. That comes from my restaurant background. To us it was a very easy progression. It is more of what you find in Manhattan and Europe than on Long Island - we do the petit gateau. Some of the most popular are the caramel apple dessert, tiramisu, lemon meringue, but in individual sizes. It is a dessert style that you would get in a seated restaurant."
Why did you choose the name “Sweet Karma?”
"We are a 98 percent scratch bakery – we make almost everything from scratch. We didn’t want to lie to our customers that we were using something that we weren’t using. I am using Belgium chocolate. The quality is there, I wanted to be able to look myself in the mirror and provide my customers with the quality they were coming in to look for. My customers now have become accustomed to that quality."
Besides regular baked goods, are there any other special items or services you offer?
"We do a large variety of gluten free products. We are one of the leaders on Long Island producing quality gluten free. There are so many places that are trying to do gluten free and they don’t really know what it means. We do both, but we do take the precautions necessary for gluten free, like cross contamination."
Why do people keep coming back?
"The quality and our customer service. It is the hospitality industry and we really try to go above and beyond. We go the extra mile."