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Baker Donna Maloney Hits The Sweet Spot With Epic Vintage Cakes

Behold the glory that is the strawberry cake from Sweet Spot, opening in St. Roch Market April 10.

Donna Maloney of The Sweet Spot bakery
Donna Maloney of The Sweet Spot bakery

Upcoming food hall St. Roch Market officially debuts this Friday, April 10, in what is certain to be the biggest spring opening in New Orleans. Not only does the return of the market mark an important milestone for the community, but the business also solidifies St. Claude Avenue as the city's newest street of dreams when it comes to dining.

When the doors open, thirteen vendors will serve up everything from African food to oysters. This week, in anticipation of the opening, Eater NOLA talks to each of the lucky thirteen on what to expect at their counter, and what they're most excited about at the new St. Roch Market.

Confectioner Donna Malone, the in-house baker at Who Dat Cafe and a known force among the city's pastry freaks, will bring her 8th Ward-based bakery The Sweet Spot to the market. The bakery will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, directly next to the Coast Roast Coffee counter, which means customers can get their fill of toast and espresso in the a.m. or cake and a cafe au lait as a late night snack. Here now, Maloney talks going vintage with cake design and the best bread pudding in NOLA.

Strawberry Cake is $5/slice and worth every bite at Sweet Spot [Photo: St. Roch Market/Facebook]

What all will you be offering at St. Roch Market?

We'll be offering cakes, birthday cakes, specialty cakes. Cupcakes, muffins, cookies, and the best bread pudding in the city. We also have a super "Mornin' Honey" muffin, as well as a bacon pecan cinnamon roll that's a lot of fun. We'll be doing a different gluten free item every day, as well as a vegan item. These are all long standing family recipes made from scratch, with quality ingredients. They're made with a lot of love.

What's one dish that you're most excited to offer and why?

The "Mornin' Honey" muffin is made with all sorts of superfood ingredients. and it's delicious. And not only is it not bad for you, it's actually good for you. We also have sort of a vintage feel with the cakes, and one of my favorites really looks like it's retro from the 50s— it's a strawberry cake with a mint green icing and pink trim.

What does St. Roch Market mean to you? Why did you apply for a vendor spot?

It's a very special place for a lot of reasons. The city and the neighborhood are excited - I live here, so I know firsthand that the neighborhood needs this, a place where people can come, eat, and buy quality food. And all the vendors here have the same mindset to serve the community with quality products. It's funny, because I live in the neighborhood, I know that everyone's been wondering what the heck's been going on so I've been keeping tabs from the beginning. And I had been toying with opening a bakery, and when I spoke to them, the person they had lined up wasn't able to do it, so the timing was perfect. I'm just so happy to be a part of it.

What other vendor are you most excited about?

Keenan, who does the produce is such a tremendous asset. She's bringing in a lot of products, not only for the customers, but for us, the vendors. We're able get a lot of resources from her, not just produce but also local, fresh eggs and butter. It's such a great arrangement. We're connected to the farmers, we help Keenan, Keenan helps us, that's what it's all about. Teamwork and a sense of fellowship, the way it used to be. The way it should be.

St Roch Market

2381 Saint Claude Avenue, , LA 70117 (504) 609-3813 Visit Website