Central Provisions + Sweet Heather Anne

You’ve met Abby.  (Remember, she’s wildly talented?)  She does it all – answers phones, bakes tasty cakes, makes magical pop-up dinners.  All of us here at Sweet Heather Anne are big fans.  We are also big fans of her food, which goes by the name Central Provisions.  The company was born in San Francisco a few years ago and is co-owned with her partner and cheese monger extraordinaire, Steve.  She’s relentlessly dedicated to seasonal, local ingredients and fresh flavors, and her attention to detail is extraordinary.  She and Steve are currently looking for investors for their brick-and-mortar larder, but in the mean time they continue to delight with special pop-up dinners, tasting classes, and now this — the summer picnic basket.

Abby says the picnic baskets have been her most special project to date.  They are full of beautiful food created almost entirely from Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market veggies, and include special Sweet Heather Anne macarons.  The most wonderful thing is that they become a magical pop-up dinner for two wherever they land.   Where will you be when you taste Central Provisions food next?  Don’t wait too long.  It’s so good.

Enjoy this picnic basket photo story by our beautiful friend, Cat.  Cat and her husband operate Sunset Cove Bed & Breakfast, a charming wedding venue in Livingston County.

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Follow Central Provisions on Facebook or Instagram for upcoming menus. To order your basket for September 13th, email centralprovisions@gmail.com.

 

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Abby’s Making Moves!

Photo by Abby Rose

You guys may have heard that the team at Sweet Heather Anne is growing!  We’ve added Kim as our business manager, we’re in the midst of hiring a new decorator, and Abby, our interim business manager, is moving into the newly created head baker position.

So, here’s the deal.  We’ve known for a long time that Abby is a wildly talent chef and baker.  She studied at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, and she was the pastry chef for three years at Delphina in San Francisco.  In Ann Arbor she owns her own company, Central Provisions, with her boyfriend and cheesemonger extraordinaire, Steve.  She’s a hard worker.  Every day after working her butt off here, she goes home to do more — to recipe test, write business plans, cook dinner for friends and family, serve until one in the morning at the Bar in Braun Court, send packages of preserves around the world (ok, just the US, but it sounded better, right?).  Plus, she’s adorable the whole time.  We should have been prepared to have our socks knocked off. 

Abby has come in and taken on our baking projects with gusto.  She attacks problems head on with intense enthusiasm, and she brings vibrant energy to the kitchen that is a breath of fresh air for Heather and me.  She’s taken on the dessert counter simple treats as a creative project, and it’s incredibly inspiring. 

We know Abby is destined for bigger things than this little cake shop.  She and Steve are looking for investors for Central Provisions, and I predict you’ll see them in a brick and mortar establishment within the year.  In the mean time, we’re so happy that she’s here with us.  

Enjoy Nicole Haley‘s beautiful photos of Abby recipe testing cakes. 
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For more Abby (and Steve), follow them on Facebook and Instagram.  Find out about special dinners and order their holiday gift boxes.  They promised they’ll make a pop-up return, so keep your eyes peeled.

Oh, she made adorable mini-pies for the holiday this week.  No, not that one with the beer and leprechauns. We’re talking PI DAY!  Ann Arbor is a college town, now let’s see our nerds represent at the dessert counter!

Meet Abby

This is my last week at Sweet Heather Anne, I am moving on to new adventures at the University of Michigan. There are too many people I have enjoyed meeting and loved working with to name. I will miss you all dearly. Though I have to say, I am so excited about this new & exciting step for me, my family, and my career. More importantly, I am SO excited to be introducing you to Abby, Sweet Heather Anne‘s interim business manager.

Abby is a great woman. She (like me) graduated from New York University. And though the fighting violets pale to the Wolverines in school pride, I was very excited to meet a fellow alum in Ann Arbor. As if that isn’t reason enough to love her, she has a great eye detail and awesome sense of humor. Oh and did I mention that she speaks French fluently?

She’s going to do a great job taking cake of you. Please don’t forget to be patient as she settles in to her new position.

I decided to ask her a few questions about Abby, so you could better get to know her.

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What was your major in college?
I was a French literature major and had a minor in food studies and business. I will say the French and food part go together surprisingly well. It feels great that I get to read Jean Brillat Savarin untranslated.
How and why did you become interested in food?
My mother has always introduced me to good food. Her love of farmers markets, local agriculture and simple straightforward fare has molded and shaped me. I like to call her my very own Alice Waters. It also helps that I am just a glutton for good food and I believe it is such a positive way to explore new cultures.
What’s your favorite SHA cake flavor?
Loving the cake truffles (because moist delicious cake covered in chocolate is addictive) but my favorite flavor would have to the citrus almond cake. YUM!
What do you love about working at SHA?
Well I am the newest addition, but I love working with such talented passionate women. Heather and Claudia are a force to be reckoned with. But I also deeply enjoy working with clients, getting to hear their stories and feeling like we get to contribute something meaningful and real to their special occasion.

If you could go anywhere tomorrow where would you go?

Morocco, Vietnam and Lyon, France. Obviously, not all at once. All because I love the food and vibrant culture and I have the added benefit of understanding what they are telling me.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a Sunday morning?
Lets pretend its Saturday. I would wake up, go to the farmers market and get way to excited about fruit and vegetables. Grab handfuls, come home and start making jam. I would then go to a lake near by with my boyfriend, drink Lambrusco and eat cheese, swim, then come home and finish the jam. Sunday morning, I would get a great piece of bread and smear a lot of delicious jam all over it with a big cup of tea and the NY Times. I try to make it a reality a couple of times a year and I love being in a place surrounded by lakes.

 

What’s it like to grow up in San Francisco?

Amazing! San Francisco is a very special place and home to my family. I believe in some Jack Kerouac way we must all go west at some point in time. I feel like it is bountiful and unique and I like to defend it with as much gusto as rooting for UM during a football game. That being said, Ann Arbor has charmed me and the people I have met are some of the most warm, generous and wonderful people I have met.

Photography by Abby Rose Photo