Wednesday, December 9, 2009

All About Fifth interviews Pete Solomita, chef/owner of the Little Buddy Biscuit Company

All About Fifth interviews Pete Solomita chef/owner of the Little Buddy Biscuit Company about crumb buns, ice cream, gruyere galettes and more.

AAF: It is well known that you started your business at home while juggling parenthood. What’s it like to move a business from your home to a storefront—are there challenges you did not anticipate?

Solomita: There are so many challenges that you either can’t anticipate or can’t fully imagine until you live through it. The tough part of starting a new business of course is the amount of hours it takes in the beginning. With my wife working full time as well and helping me in the store too it has been hard running the household and being a parent as well. Plus being a good chef/baker is enough of a challenge, but you also have to do so many other tasks that you might never have done before or that is not in your comfort zone.

AAF: Out of the dozens of cookies and treats you make—what are some of your favorites?

Solomita: For cookies I am really proud of the Deep Chocolate with ground chile peppers (think Oaxacan hot chocolate) and spice and the Orange Coconut with Cardamom, Currants and Macadamia. I love my crumb bun, a treat that reminds me of my childhood and our devil buddy cakes (devil’s food filled with espresso butter-cream and topped with ganache).

AAF: When you say that your ice cream is from an artisanal purveyor, Jane’s Ice Cream of Kingston, New York—what does that mean?

Solomita: Jane’s Ice Cream is made in small batches using local dairy and high quality ingredients, some organic and it just tastes so good and fresh. It’s really hard to beat. My son loves the killer chocolate, the strawberry is great and my favorite might be the Cappuccino Kahlua Calypso.

AAF: South Slope on 5th is becoming quite a vibrant spot for local businesses—do you want to give some plugs to the scene and your fellow business owners?

Solomita: I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 30 years first on 17th street between 4th and 5th and now on 16th. It has changed so much its unbelievable. There’s a lot of bars, caf├ęs and restaurants that have opened really recently or in the past few years which makes this immediate area more vibrant. For instance Adam’s Wine Shop, Has Beans, Sidecar, and Buttermilk got the ball rolling then followed by Ellis, Toby’s, now South and Black Horse.

AAF: I saw chicken pot pie on your website—should we expect more non-dessert fare in the future?

Solomita: We already do quite a bit of savory. For instance every day we do three kinds of biscuits (cheddar and black pepper, scallion cream cheese with poppy seeds and home-style), roasted pepper and feta muffins and soup and sandwiches. Some of our specials include spinach and goat cheese frittatas, potato, caramelized onion and gruyere galettes (free form pies), flat bread pizzas, mac and cheese, chili with jalapeno corn bread to name a few.

Interview conducted by Rebeccah Welch

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