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13-04-2012, 16:34   #1
Redhairedguy
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Sweetie Pies New Menu

Went into Sweetie Pies yesterday with boneyarsebogman, to satisfy my guilty pleasure of Bloomer loaf French toast with bacon and maple syrup, and saw that they had vastly changed their menu to a smaller more banal one. There was only soup, sandwiches and some sort of savoury goats cheese tart.

I was genuinely disappointed, as Sweetie Pies was the only place I could get this calorie laden treat. Wrote them an email conveying this.

Quote:
Hello,

I am writing with great disappointment in relation to the new menu being implemented in your cafe. Yesterday, a friend and I were in Sweetie Pies, to fill a very specific craving, which up until now your company was able to satisfy. Now before I go off track with compliments about your great products and how much I enjoy them, I really have to emphasise my displeasure at the new and vastly inferior menu now on offer. Unfortunately with your choice to forgo such rare treats as the Bloomer loaf French Toast with bacon and maple syrup, 'The Works', or those sublime waffles whose deliciousness I have not found any place elsewhere in Galway; and now focus solely on soup, sandwiches and savoury tarts, you have resigned yourself to be nothing more special than any conventional cafe in the city. Even the cupcakes, which were always a massive draw for me, seemed uninteresting and the selection was limited.

I write this not as a frustrated adult not able to get his French toast fix on a Thursday afternoon, but as a teenager with a wicked sweet tooth whose occasional trips to Athenry were always distinguished by the stopping off at Sweetie Pies at their humble beginnings, and seeing various members of the Foley family milling about. That's why, when I heard that the franchise had moved into Galway city, I instantly jumped on it and began a blissful love affair, reveling in the broader but no less delicious selection of items, which was always such a special treat from my youth.

With such stiff competition from the likes of the Gourmet tart company on Abbeygate Street, I truly feel that Sweetie Pies can ill afford to overlook one of the most important factors of it's business; the draw of its premises. Many fresh food eateries, the Gourmet Tart Company included, have no place to sit, eat and enjoy. Sweetie Pies has always had an atmosphere that exudes both warmth and comfort, and I have found myself sitting inside for hours with friends. The Amnesty International building itself has always been popular for various reasons, namely its location which is very favourable. I have seen many cafes come and go in that premises over the years, but it wasn't until Sweetie Pies put its own character into the building that it became, in my opinion anyway, such a peaceful and inviting place. Many a time I would sit by the window staring out at Middle Street watching the world go by, as spilt maple syrup dried on the lapel of my shirt, its sweet scent haunting me hours later.

You will forgive me for thinking that a good business model would be to get bums on seats and keep them there. I will testify to not being able to move after a hearty feed at Sweetie Pies, and it was never long before I once again craved the food, atmosphere and unique charm of Sweetie Pies. I wholeheartedly believe that by stripping your menu down to what seems like a bare bones cafe standard, you have done both yourself, and your loyal customers a severe injustice.

I understand that you most likely have your valid reasons for this change, whether they be social, financial or otherwise; but as a long time fan of Sweetie Pies, I just feel it necessary to tell you how disappointed and crestfallen I feel at this stage, no longer having an avenue to appease my frequent guilty pleasure.

Yours with deep dismay,

Ciarán
Anyone else sad to see this change, or am I alone in my greasy sorrow?

Last edited by Redhairedguy; 13-04-2012 at 17:58.
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13-04-2012, 16:42   #2
ronnie3585
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Wow.

I'd hate to see that letter you would write if something bad happend to you
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13-04-2012, 17:58   #3
Redhairedguy
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You're right. Anyway, I received an nicely worded email back from them, and now I feel like an arse.
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13-04-2012, 17:59   #4
ben.schlomo
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Never found them much good, stuff was/is awfully overpriced, cupcakes were nothing special or different and recipes always seemed to change so quality varied everytime you got anything.
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13-04-2012, 18:01   #5
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You're right. Anyway, I received an nicely worded email back from them, and now I feel like an arse.
Why?
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13-04-2012, 18:07   #6
Redhairedguy
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Originally Posted by TheCosmicFrog View Post
Why?
Because they wrote this back to me

Quote:
Hello Ciaran

Firstly, let me thank you for your email as the opionions of our valued customers do matter to us and we do want to hear what you are feeling as there has been so many changes over the past six months.

We did not just strip down our savoury menu on a whim, it was a neccessity because of the nature of the cafe that we are now operating from. The previous menu was highly reliant on a panninni grill which while in our other premises was housed away from our customers with adequate ventilation so as not to affect the customers who only wished to have a lovely smell of homemade cakes as they walked through the door.

However, in this new premises our kitchen is very, very small and the ventilation not good enough to take away the smoke and odours which wafted freely over our delicious cakes. Our main business is in fact our cakes, which is what gets the bums on seats in reality. Cakes is where we started & continues to be our passion & savoury is a very small part of the business. We had to take an overall decision, which we did.

The new food menu is all homemade and fresh which we feel is so much better. Buying in & rehashing foods from big suppliers has in fact never sat well with our ethos. We are a family business Foley & Griffin (sisters) & although you may not see any Foley family members on the floor this is because Maureen is very busy at our production kitchen making the wonderful cakes & truly delicious new savoury menu. I however am on the floor 5 days per week. My sister & I can truly stand over this new menu as completely unlike the other cafes in town, for one thing we are the only ones who truly make make everything without buying in & simply reheating.

We appreciate the competition such as the Gourmet Tart & other cafes but we are a very different concept not at all reliant on the food element. We are Sweetie Pies Cake Cafe & we have seen a marked increase in sales of cakes since we eliminated - the dare I say it - greasy element of our food business.

I would however like to invite you to partake of lunch with us to prove to you that our new menu is in fact just as tasty. We are not trying to be healthy we are simply a cake cafe that wishes to play to our strengths, quality confectionery (lack of choice yesterday was actually due to a electricity failure at the production kitchen - never before happened!!) in a nice friendly atmosphere & with good service. All of which, we feel we do beyond compare to standard cafes.

I am sure very few cafes would evoke such passion which we appreciate & truly if I could magic up a new separate kitchen I would re instate the french toast on our menu for you.

Thanks for your comments & I hope my answers adequately appease your dismay - but do take me up on the offer of lunch - you won't regret it.

Thanks
And I have to respect their swift reply and honesty. I think I did jump to conclusions in the heat of the moment, and should probably sample their new stuff out before making any more assumptions.
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13-04-2012, 19:12   #7
Acoshla
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Funny that cakes are their main thing and I think their cupcakes are incredibly overpriced for what they are. Very nice honest email though.
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13-04-2012, 19:16   #8
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You should have seen our faces when we read their new menu. Excellent email, RHG!
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13-04-2012, 19:55   #9
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Originally Posted by Acoshla View Post
Funny that cakes are their main thing and I think their cupcakes are incredibly overpriced for what they are.
I'm so with you on that one.

But recession or not, it seems that lots of people aren't. Cupcakes, for whatever reason, appear to be hot, and people are paying ridiculous amounts for 'em.

Go figure.
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14-04-2012, 00:21   #10
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€4 for a cup cake is crazy!
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14-04-2012, 08:57   #11
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I'm so with you on that one.

But recession or not, it seems that lots of people aren't. Cupcakes, for whatever reason, appear to be hot, and people are paying ridiculous amounts for 'em.

Go figure.
€4 a pint is also ridiculous, but most people have no problem going in and putting away six or seven of them in an evening at least.

€4 for a rare indulgent cupcake that you're realistically not going to be eating more than once a week or thereabouts, if even, is really not so bad.
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14-04-2012, 09:59   #12
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They're mad tasty though, a nice treat now and then. I recommend the cola bottle flavour!


Cupcakes! by zero86r, on Flickr
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14-04-2012, 11:41   #13
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I've never enjoyed any of their cakes. They all look amazing but they tend to all taste extremely "meh"...
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14-04-2012, 14:08   #14
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I feel like I've had half a bag of sugar by just looking at those cakes!
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14-04-2012, 14:08   #15
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I've never enjoyed any of their cakes. They all look amazing but they tend to all taste extremely "meh"...
Controversial but I tend to think cupcakes are universally "meh"...does anyone actually like that big bloom of butter,sugar and food colouring on the top apart from for appearance purposes? I've never had a cupcake where I haven't had to scrap that off and leave it.
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