To go through life not loving chocolate is like trying to find meaning in a Pauly Shore movie. Yes that is a reference to the best movie of all time “Clueless” but it boggles my mind to really go through life and not experience the joy and effervescent love of all different kinds of chocolate. And it is available in endless assortments here in New York City, kind of like a modern day concrete Willy Wonka if I can make another movie comparison. If there is, however, one person who could be the queen of the modern day confectioneries it is no other than the lovely Susanna Yoon, formerly of the world renowned Per Se, who now heads an incredible sweet-shop in the NoLiTa area of Manhattan called Stick With Me.
Located in NoLiTA, Stick With Me sweets are carefully made by hand with Valrhona chocolate and the finest natural ingredients. Their best sellers are the 24 bonbons flavored with a variety of rich caramels, marshmallows, jams, custards, etc. I got to experience these first hand a couple of days ago with a couple of other colleagues in my office and suffice to say they were nothing short of brilliant if not mind boggling. The flavor in these bonbons literally envelope in your mouth, and has such a rich and incredible texture to them that make each individual one simply divine and worth the trip down (or the click of a button on their site) to NoLiTa to experience them first hand. Their newest creation is the Birthday Cake Bon Bon made with vanilla funfetti ganache and chocolate cake at the base in a white chocolate shell. Price: $3.40 per bonbon, which in my opinion is completely worth it based on the amazing experience we were presented with just a couple of days ago.
I sat down with Susanna to talk about Stick With Me’s history, what makes it so special, her favorite item there and hopes for the future.
How did the concept of Stick With Me get started?
Since working at Per Se, I have always wanted to be able to gift friends and family chocolates created inside a 3-michelin starred restaurant. Unfortunately, the mignardises are not sold separately, and only presented at the end of an extensive tasting menu. We wanted to create a shop that makes exclusive sweets more accessible to the public. A “sweet” fine-dining experience that can be taken home, gifted or enjoyed on the spot.
Speaking of, how did you come up with the name for the location?
The name Stick With Me was created after our slow cook caramels. A variety of different flavors such as yuzu, cassis, raspberry, brown buttered macadamia nut, roasted coffee bean, etc. Hence the natural sticky characteristics of caramels, so delicious that you want it to stick, we created the name Stick With Me.
What does Stick With Me specialize in and what sets it apart from the other bakeries in the NoLiTa area?
We are one of the only chocolate shops in New York to hand shell bonbons. We specialize in 24 uniquely designed-filled hand-shelled bonbons along with a selection of toffees, brittles, truffles, caramels, cakes, nut butters, and other sweet confections. We also pride ourselves on using the highest-quality ingredients and like to think that we bring a bit of fun and whimsy to the chocolate world. Our flavors, décor, and packaging are fun and it keeps things exciting!
Given that you have an amazing background at Per Se, how did you translate your time there into preparing these amazing bonbons, truffles, cakes and more?
At Per Se, we are taught that high-quality ingredients make high-quality products and in order to produce the very best, you have to use the very best raw products. After years of using the best ingredients and making these amazing desserts at Per Se, I decided to take the knowledge and experience I had gained to open my very own sweet-shop with my unique sweet creations. At Stick With Me, we try to source the finest ingredients. We use fresh milk, cream and nuts directly from the farms. We import cinnamon from Vietnam, yuzu, matcha and sesame from Japan, vanilla beans from Tahiti and Madagascar. We run on our creativity yet focus on our attention to details.
What is your favorite item that you sell at Stick With Me?
My favorite piece is always changing, but recently it has been the Vero which is layered with a vanilla infused caramel, crushed candied pecans, and a crunchy pecan praline seasoned with fleur de sel.
Tell me about the latest creation you have made, the Birthday Cake Bonbon.
We wanted to create a fun bonbon that people can enjoy on their birthday, or even daily. We bake real chocolate cake and place it over our vanilla frosting ganache that is mixed with rainbow sprinkles. It’s like eating all the best components of a cake, all inside a single bonbon.
Anything exciting happening for Stick With Me in the fall and winter seasons for our readers?
Our flavors rotate seasonally so we always have new and interesting flavors for our customers to try like the Birthday Cake Bon Bon and plan on introducing new flavors for the fall and holiday season. We will also be participating at the Chicken Coupe event hosted by Whoopi Goldberg in October and our customers would also be able to access our products at the Columbus Circle holiday market from Dec 1 – Dec 24.
What are your biggest hopes for this location?
For this shop to be our stepping stone towards expansion in NYC.
Happy Eating Everyone!