Sweet Karma Desserts
136 Manetto Hill Rd. Plainview 516-794-4478
Brian Fishman wasn't planning to open a retail bakery. A former restaurant pastry chef, he knew that plenty of restaurants, caterers and clubs would welcome the opportunity to buy high-end desserts that were crafted to dovetail with their menus.
In 2003, he found a small space in East Meadow and opened Sweet Karma Desserts, selling wholesale to the trade.
But then the aroma of baked goods started wafting out onto the street.
"Once people smelled it, they'd come in and say, 'We need a bakery here,'" he said.
Over the next decade, Fishman's retail business grew to nearly half of his total sales. On Aug. 6, the bakery moved to Plainview's Manetto Hill Shopping Center, nearly doubling its space.
Fishman makes a wide range of cookies, cupcakes, cakes and tarts. The individual desserts he sells to wholesale clients have developed a following among retail customers. These neat, beautifully decorated confections cost $4.25 (or $25 for a platter of seven). Bestsellers include a s'mores tart (with Graham cracker crust, chocolate truffle filling and whipped toasted meringue) and almond tarts filled with blueberry, apricot and pear.
About 35 percent of Sweet Karma's offerings are gluten-free, produced in a separate area of the bakery using dedicated equipment. Fishman is happiest when he's making pastries that are naturally gluten-free, such as classic French macaroons ($1.75) -- two almond-meringue cookies sandwiching a creamy filling. Sweet Karma makes about a dozen varieties, including a pistachio-ganache, pumpkin spice, raspberry and a devastating double chocolate.
Photo: Macaroons, made from sugar, egg whites and ground almonds, are popular at Sweet Karma Desserts in Plainview. (Oct. 2, 2013)