An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Jan 10, 2014
03:48 PMThe Connecticut Table
New Sweet Beet in Granby: Vegan, Organic Gluten Free & Savory Too
Scot Allyn/The Granby News
Sara Sabbagh, left, and Heather Dougherty, near the check-out counter of The Sweet Beet, a vegan and organic bakery and cafe in Granby.
Busy families in the Farmington Valley have a new option for healthy meals and tasty baked goods at The Sweet Beet, a vegan and organic bakery and cafe offering meals to go, which opened Dec. 14 at 498 Salmon Brook St., in the former Sharon’s Cookie Jar.
Heather Dougherty is co-owner of The Sweet Beet with Jason LaChance, whose fiancee, Sara Sabbagh, an attorney, is helping the new market get on its feet during the holiday season.
“There’s no other market in the area really gluten-free, catering to people with allergies,” said Sabbagh. “Everything in our shop is 100-percent free from gluten, GMOs (genetically modified organisms), soy, peanut, dairy, eggs or any other animal products. We strive to use only organic ingredients, but if a particular ingredient is not available in organic form, we ensure it is GMO free. We can cater to any diet.”
LaChance and Sabbagh have two children, one of whom has food-triggered seizures.
“For seven years I have had to teach myself how to cook allergen-free,” Sabbagh said. “All too often, my daughter had to have the snack that didn’t look as good as everyone else’s. But here at the Sweet Beet we make snacks and baked goods that look better than everyone else’s. We cater to all diets, including anyone with an allergy or who is vegan. We also offer options for the Paleo diet.”
Sabbagh said she went to Dougherty to create foods tailored to her family’s requirements.
“She’s very creative with recipes,” Sabbagh said. “So we thought we’d provide foods for busy people to give them a great way to feed their families, offering an alternative to traditional takeout places already available in the Farmington Valley. You can grab dinner here and get your baked goods too.”
Sweet Beet recipes are created by Dougherty, who used to be the manager of the cafe/juice bar at the Granby Village Health Food Store. (Above, mocha chip Sweeties; photo from The Sweet Beet's Facebook page.)
“The opportunity arose here, and I grabbed it,” she said. “I’ve been vegan for close to 16 years. Within that, you have to learn to cook for yourself.”
The Sweet Beet interior has been designed to offer a homey, traditional atmosphere, with walls painted turmeric and Spanish red. The laminated floor mimics hardwood planks, and holiday decorations brightened the walls last week.