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Local sweet shop offers cupcakes, coffee and charcuterie

Kate Massey, Sarah Massey’s sister, works behind the counter at Guilty Sweets.

Well-lit and decorated with white tables and an array of pink flowers, Guilty Sweets & Charcuterie is a stark contrast to the frozen streets just outside its doors.

The sweet shop opened on Dec. 18, 2021, at 3 1st St. SE, Suite 2, just east of Prairie Sky Breads. They offer cupcakes, mascarpone shortbread, French macarons, mini tarts, charcuterie boards, a charcuterie lunch box, and a self-service coffee bar.

“I wanted it to look very clean and very feminine because it is a female-owned business and I thought that’s important for somewhere like North Dakota specifically,” said owner Sarah Massey. “I don’t anticipate a bunch of men are gonna want to come hang out here, but I do see a lot of females bringing their boyfriends here, and what’s the harm? You’re gonna have a great time whether there’s flowers on the wall or not.”

The shop features a flower wall display and flower pillars. Massey said she worked on the design concepts on her computer and Ava Blue Events made the flower displays, Niess Impressions designed their logo, and some friends installed the flooring.

“It was just a hodgepodge of different people,” she said.

The flower display and pink couch are staples in Guilty Sweet’s decor style.

In March 2020, Massey started to develop Guilty Sweets after resigning from her position as manager of St. Leo’s Catholic Church.

“COVID was around, but it wasn’t really a big deal. I put my notice in at my job that I had for seven years, but somehow I made it through that and was able to rent a kitchen,” she said. “Between March and July, I figured out what I wanted to make and what my goals were, and then July, full swing of COVID and full swing of baking.”

Guilty Sweets is a concept Massey started as a project in college at Minot State University where she studied advertising and marketing. She graduated in 2013.

“In one of my business classes, we had to come up with a business we would want to start. I wanted to be able to have gluten-free products and full traditional guilty products, and then some lower calorie guilt-free products. The main thing is going to be the guilty-full delicious ones, but I wanted options for everyone,” she said.

The owner has enjoyed baking long before deciding to open Guilty Sweets. She said she would bake for her best friend’s children and use it as a way to pass the time when she and her husband worked conflicting schedules.

“I was like, okay, maybe I’m good at this,” she said. “I get to just be creative, but also, I get to be 100% myself in my own realm. I get to just do what I enjoy doing. I used to use it like a bit of stress relief. I still find that in baking, and I was able to make it a career.”

Massey said running Guilty Sweets has been going well after a short period of adjustments, such as finding out how much product to make every day and hiring an adequate number of staff — Massey had thought she would only need four people employees but now has six.

“It’s been so good. I don’t think I could have expected a better turnout from Minot,” she said. “I just didn’t really know what to expect right away. Now that we have a routine, it’s much less overwhelming.”

In addition to day-to-day operations, Guilty Sweets offers catering and the use of its space for events like bridal showers and birthday parties. Their hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays.

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