Rose Ave Sweets' Sonya Nimri Shares Her Top Venice Treats
It was right around Valentine's Day last year when Venice began its love affair with Rose Avenue Sweets, the small-batch, chocolate-covered caramels made by Sonya Nimri. Since then, she's gone from selling at the Farmers' Markets to having her signature blue boxes sold at shops throughout town including Simon's Market, The Golden State Store, Banh Mi Venice, and of course, our L&R Marketplace and holiday pop-up shop. She's also expanded her temptations to include turtles, caramel pops, brownies and hot cocoa with homemade marshmallows.
With Chocolate Day here again, we caught up with Sonya to see what's next for Rose Avenue Sweets, and to see where our favorite confectioner makes time to treat herself.
How does it feel to be a year into Rose Ave Sweets?
Exhausting, but ultimately exhilarating. Truth be told, we had no idea what to expect when we launched the line. We knew we had a good product, but that's about it. We had a lot to learn after that, and a lot of work to do, but it turned out to be totally worth it. Now we have a bit of a following and word is definitely spreading.
How has business progressed over the past year?
The biggest difference is scale, for sure. While we're still a small-batch company, when we started we were really, really small. Like, making a few chocolates for our friends and family small. We still make things by hand, of course, but now we make in a day at a commercial kitchen what we used to casually make for friends over the course of a month at home.
What's been your favorite part of the experience?
There's no doubt, it's the look on people's faces. It may sound cheesy but it's true. You work so hard to make something great, something different, something quintessentially you, and sometimes, honestly, it doesn't feel worth it. It's so much work. The ingredients are so expensive. Someone else can offer a comparable product, in name anyway (candy?!), at a third of the cost but probably a tenth of the taste. And you think, no one really cares. They just want the cheapest version. And it can be a bummer, and the odds feel insurmountable. But then you watch someone eat one of your chocolates, and their eyes close, and a smile forms even in the midst of chewing (and caramel takes some serious chewing) and you know you've done something right. When anyone tells you that something you've done is the best they've ever had, ever experienced, you want to go right back to doing it again, no matter how hard it is to get there.
When you're not treating us to all of your delicious sweets, or taking care of your two young boys, or working on design projects for Anthropologie, Target and other big retail clients, where do you go to treat yourself?
1. Taryn at The Massage Place on Abbot Kinney is the best masseuse in L.A. // 2805 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
2. Nanci's house across the street for Mariage-Freres tea. We have a stock pile that we only drink together. The tea is only available in the states at Dean and Delucca.
3. Saving Faces on Washington Blvd. for a facial makes my day. // 762 W Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
4. Lincoln Nails for a manicure. // 713 Lincoln Blvd. Venice, CA 90291
5. Zelda's on the strand for mini-donuts and giant pickles. // 9 Westminster Avenue Venice, CA 90291