Sugar Rush

Tiny portions take some of the guilt—but none of the fun—out of dessert.

photo by Monte Costa

When Frances Pons was a little girl, she encountered her first petit four. Everyone around her simply ate their desserts, but she was too transfixed to eat much. “I was mesmerized,” she recalls. “How could anything so small and beautiful be so delicious?”

That petit four made quite an impression, and led her to a life of pastry. There was a detour into corporate America, first. But, she says, “I’ve always loved to eat anything with sugar in it, so I started making cheesecakes.” Soon, her co-workers were hiring her to make more, so she followed her sugar fix and left her corporate job. After training at the California Culinary Academy, she now is in her fourth year of running Sugar Rush by Frances. She makes more than 40 varieties of bite-size, single-serving desserts. “My goal is to have the desserts taste better than they look—and they look pretty good.”

The miniature desserts are popular for weddings, first birthdays, bridal showers and art openings, says Pons, who uses fresh, natural ingredients wherever possible. The most popular treat is Goldfinger, a ball of cheesecake dipped in chocolate and served on a lollipop stick. In fact, 14 desserts on the menu are cheesecake flavors, such as Bada Bing, with Bing cherries.

While catering is a large part of the business, walk-ins are welcome to stop by for a dozen or so of the four desserts offered each week. (They run about $2.25 apiece.) For orders for 16 to several dozen people, she recommends ordering 48 hours in advance; for a party of 100 to 150 people, she suggests three to four weeks in advance.

Sugar Rush by Frances is open Tuesday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 1404 Colburn St., 949-4948 or