Business

Home-cooked, from-the-heart food

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by MATTHEW NASH
Sequim Gazette

If you are feeling down in the dumps or dreading a certain medical test, baker and business owner Kathryn Kitts has a solution.

Her café, The Sweet Beginning, recently opened inside the Olympic Medical Services Building in Sequim offering from-scratch baked goods, all-natural coffee and deli meals.

 

She says the medical plaza feels less like a medical center and more like a healing environment, which fits her mission.

 

“Food is nurturing and when you make things with good intentions and love that’s what makes it good,” she said. “That’s what helps people connect and nurture their body, soul and spirit.”

 

Customers are beginning to uncover the tucked-away business even without doctors’ appointments, employees said. Some come every day for a taste, even OMC employees, whom Kitts said have been some of her best customers.

 

Employee Connie Doe said people like the food because it’s made with so much care.

 

“We just love everybody and make it easy for people to come in,” Doe said.

 

Celia Pederson, another employee, said people who might have a lot of appointments and those who accompany them could find the baked goods as a highlight of their day.

 

“It’s something to look forward to when you have a test or a treatment,” Pederson said.

Fresh foods

The Sweet Beginning boasts an array of from-scratch bakery goods and foods. Kitts attributes her determination to cook from scratch to her father who always put fresh foods on the table despite growing up in an era when food was canned.

 

One of her staples is an iced shortbread cookie, which she’s made for 35 years.

 

“People would come from far and wide to buy them,” Kitts said. “I used to have people come from Sequim to get cookies while shopping in Silverdale.”

 

Other popular items include Kathryn’s Dill Chicken sandwich or salad and baked cinnamon twists. Pederson likes the tuna and egg salad sandwiches.

 

“It’s how you want a sandwich to be made,” Pederson said.

 

“We always taste everything to make sure it’s right. It’s like being in your friend’s kitchen.”

 

Employees are working on incorporating more gluten-free products, including their double chocolate orange cookie. Fruit smoothies are coming soon.

 

Baked goods incorporate organic sugar and all natural ingredients and the organic Caffe Umbria coffee can use organic milk upon request. Soups change daily with seasonal salads offered a few times a week.

The Sweet Beginning caters, too, with gourmet box lunches available.

 

Kitts finds her business so popular that she can’t seem to keep food on the shelves by the end of the day.

 

Sequim beginnings

Kitts moved to Sequim one year ago after a short stint out of state and 16 years as owner of the Waterfront Bakery and Café in Silverdale’s old town. She sold out five years ago to complete a cookbook.

Upon moving to Sequim, she had no idea another business was in her future; she’s owned two bakeries and a catering business before.

 

One day, Kitts drove down Fifth Avenue and felt an urge to walk into the medical services building. She stood in the lobby and saw the open deli space and found an inspiration.

 

“My food comes from my heart and that’s my God-given gift that comes through me,” Kitts said.

 

The Sweet Beginning’s name comes from a newspaper story done on Kitts and her donating baked goods to charities years ago. She’s nearing completion of a cookbook with personal recipes she’s used in her cafés and bakeries.

 

Contact The Sweet Beginning, 840 Fifth Ave., Sequim, at 582-4175, ext. 24175.

 

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

 

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