Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Photo by Petr Kratochvil

Today's review is a bit different, as it's a local-to-Pittsburgh review. But Pittsburghers, listen up! This is a review you'll want to read!

I was sitting at my desk on Tuesday and I had a craving for something sweet. I remembered how I'd been wanting to visit a little cafe that opened in June just a half mile from my house. So I grabbed a notebook (so I could work on a children's book I'm writing) and headed down there. Did I like the place? Let me tell you...

Like I said, I went in search of something sweet. Specifically cake. And cake I got! As it turns out, Sugar & Company's cupcakes are in the running for a "best of" award hosted by WPXI in Pittsburgh and they need to deliver a chocolate, vanilla and specialty cupcake to the station tomorrow. And I lucked out because they couldn't decide which specialty cupcake to send. They needed a taste tester. Enter moi!

Oh my goodness. That's all I have to say. These cupcakes were unbelievable! I tested 3 different kinds (and the scale is reflecting that today!) If you are in the area and like cake, you have to visit Sugar & Company on McKnight Road (across from North Hills Village beside Jiffy Lube). But even if you're not a cupcake fan, you will be a fan of this quaint little cafe, where the homemade desserts, sandwiches and salads are ridiculously hard to choose from... they're just that good! Adding to the goodness are the organic fair trade coffees being served. Coffees like Morrocan, Thai, Cafe Praline and more. Plus cappuccino and espresso. Skip Starbucks and check out this local independently owned coffee shop. 

Not only is the food and coffee amazing, but Raida Khalil, the lovely owner of the Sugar & Company, is environmentally-conscious as well. Your food is served on real plates with stainless steel flatware. Coffee is served in mugs or to-go cups. Raida even goes green with her pies, selling them without the foil pie pans. She washes and reuses everything she can.

Did I mention that I love this place?

A lifetime Pittsburgher, Raida is not a trained baker or chef. She simply loves sharing good food. And she is conscious of using the best ingredients and skipping the standard high fructose corn syrup and shortenings. Everything is freshly baked from scratch. 

Adding to the appeal of the cafe are the vases of fresh flowers on the tables, free WiFi and friendly staff. Unlike visiting chains like Panera where I'm just a number, I felt welcomed and valued at Sugar & Company. I left there feeling satisfied, and full, after 3 cups of coffee, 3 cupcakes (gasp!) and a Mozzarella in Carrozza Panini (mozzarella & fresh basil batter dipped and grilled) served with grapes. Yum.

Today, I'm a few pounds heavier, but I'm also thrilled to discover this gem in my neighborhood. Skip the chains, folks, and support your local businesses. In this case, a Pittsburgh coffee shop and bakery.

Sugar & Company is located at 4846 McKnight Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15237.

Become a fan of Sugar and Company on Facebook and receive a free cookie when you stop in. Tell them Green Grandma sent you! They'll thank you and you'll thank me. Take my word for it!

Reviewing it for you,


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