Minnesota Entrepreneur Emmanuel Ventouris Opens New Sweet Shop and Cafe

Press Release



updated: Aug 11, 2017 09:40 EDT

​​Minnesota is perhaps not best known for its cafe culture, but St. Paul entrepreneur Emmanuel Ventouris aims to change that. He has recently opened a cafe that also doubles as a sweet shop. He has recently opened the Candy Cafe, and on the first day, both cakes and ice cream were sold out!

Ventouris has over four decades of experience in catering across St. Paul and surrounding areas. He specialized in children’s parties, offering certain unique foods. The difference in the kinds of foods he served was that he focused on traditional ingredients and traditional recipes, reminiscent of Minnesota’s long history. He quickly found that many people who attended those parties loved the food and not just the children. Parents and other adults would taste the food and would often be tempted to eat more than they had planned.

This led him to decide that his next venture should be something that caters to everybody, and the idea for Candy Cafe was born. He secured a gorgeous venue and set to work redecorating it into a vintage-feel coffee shop, with modern amenities. The cafe is decorated with various tables and a mismatch of furniture, as well as having various antique coffee pots on the shelves.

Centrally located in St. Paul next to various shops and amenities, it is the perfect place for people to have a break from their shopping while enjoying some traditional and old-fashioned foods and other delights. The cafe’s menu includes a range of light lunches, including freshly made salads. Naturally, he also serves coffee and various kinds of snacks that go with it. The window of the cafe serves as an ice cream parlor, where he sells a range of traditional and experimental flavors. Guests are also welcome to make suggestions for new flavors, and one will be selected at random each month to be added to the offerings.

Emmanuel Ventouris says: “My plan is to have a flavor every month and, by the end of the year, people can vote for the one they liked best, and this will then be added permanently to the menu. The person who suggested that flavor will win a lunch for four at Candy Cafe, with free ice cream and a selection of sweets for the kids. We’ve only been open a week, and the suggestion box is already getting pretty full, so I’m excited to see what the flavor of this month is going to be.”

All of the foods served at Candy Cafe are freshly made on site. Ventouris has built significant professional relationships with suppliers across Minnesota, as he is determined to focus on locally grown produce. This will also ensure that he will be supporting the local economy.

The most exciting part of Candy Cafe, however, is the candy itself. At the back of the store is a little confectionery, made to look as if it came straight out of the 17th century, where people can purchase old fashioned and long forgotten sweets and candies. Of course, this is not the place where you will find Hershey’s bars, Wonka Candies, Tootsie Rolls, Jolly Rancher Candy, or Twizzlers. Instead, Emmanuel Ventouris wants to send people on a trip down memory lane, while learning a little bit about sweet foods as well. For instance, he will be serving marshmallows invented in 1850. People can also enjoy real fudge, which was first developed in this country in the 1880s. Jelly beans and peanut brittle, which were firm 19th-century favorites, will also be available. Uniquely, he will also sell Kendal mint cake, a 1869 invention and Turkish delight. This became popular in this country in the 19th century, but it was invented in 1777.

Ventouris adds: “I want people to learn more about the fascinating history of all our favorite foods. I have extracts on the wall, for instance, from Dr. William Kitchiner’s book, published in 1817, which describes the first ever potato crisp recipe.”

The cafe has only been open for a short period of time, but it is already becoming the talk of the town. It has a dog-friendly front terrace where people can sit and watch the world go by while enjoying wonderful cups of coffee and snacks.

A particularly interesting plaque in the Candy Cafe describes the origins of the word “candy.” What few people know is that it is a purely American word, because other English-speaking countries refer to candy as “sweets.” Interestingly, it wasn’t American or even English at first. In fact, it is a word of Persian and Arabic origin, indicating a unique mixture of cultures.

Source: Emmanuel Ventouris