The Suisse Shop
By Tara BrewsterPublished December 1, 2011
_Cake will always be superior to pie, for one very simple reason: FROSTING! _
– Comedian Paul F. Tompkins
We’re with ya, PFT. While the trendy little sister of cake – the cupcake – has been hogging the spotlight of C-bus sweets in recent years, the traditional full-sized delicacy is still being mastered locally at the Suisse Shop.
Pronounced “Swiss” Shop, for those who aren’t yet familiar, this cozy family-owned-and-operated European bakery on Polaris Parkway has been producing some of Central Ohio’s finest cakes and pastries since 1983.
Originally a wholesale bakery supplying to Lazarus and various other outlets, the bakery changed hands from a German couple to an Italian family (the Scalis, a name synonymous with Italian cuisine in Columbus) before finally landing in the capable hands of Darlene Jones. Working with the best recipes that each of the different European owners contributed and adding recipes from her own kitchen, Jones has compiled an unparalleled arsenal of indulgences. Unless you’ve had the pleasure of sampling something from the Suisse Shop, you’ve probably never had anything quite like these treats before.
When it comes to cake, their signature offering and bestseller is the Suisse Almond torte, composed of a dense almond cake and seedless red raspberry preserves. The Midnight Dream lives up to its name with chocolate cake and a chocolate soufflé filling, all covered in ganache. Jones’ culinary genius comes to life in the Zebra torte, which features layers of chocolate Genoise sponge cake, coffee, buttercream, ganache and almonds (it’s also the personal all-time-favorite cake of yours truly). The Italian Cassata (made with real sliced strawberries and not the typical strawberry jam filling of most store-bought Cassatas) is a summer crowd pleaser, and maple cakes are gaining popularity in these colder months.
Not to be ignored are the shop’s other amazing specialties – cupcakes, cookies, bar cakes, a huge selection of sinfully delicious cheesecakes, coffee cakes, rolls, woven breads (including Brioche during the holidays), muffins, croissants, scones and more. Sometimes offering this much variety in a single location results in mediocre ‘display filler’ products. This is definitely not the case at the Suisse Shop, where each recipe has been refined to complete perfection. Jones believes in using only the best ingredients, importing many items from all over the world so that each treat delivers complex flavors that can only be achieved by holding quality above all else. Her motto?
“If you’re going to have the calories, you might as well make it worth your time,” she said.
Get connected with the Suisse Shop by finding them on Facebook and take your time looking through the photo albums. Serious dessert lust awaits in pictures of pastries and gorgeous cake decorations that you might not expect from such a humble operation. Making the trek up to Polaris is well worth the experience; I promise you’ll walk away with a whole new perspective on what cake should be.
The Suisse Shop
2119 Polaris Pkwy.