When two people share a fondness for cake and tacos, you’re probably destined to become friends for life. That’s what brought Rachel Dunston and Susie Bowen together.
The two moms, who are also highly skilled cooks, have joined together to launch a new business, Chocolate Wishes and Treats at Sierra Vista Mall.
Dunston bakes and Bowen makes sweet treats. And they are both obsessed with tacos.
“We both like sugar and tacos, what can I say,” Dunston, said with a smile.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Fresno Bee
The 2,000-square-foot store, located next to Sierra Vista Cinemas 16, will feature the best of what Dunston and Bowen are known for: elaborate cakes, mouth-watering caramel apples and something new called dessert tacos.
For anyone who has followed the careers of Bowen and Dunston you know they are good at what they do.
For years, Bowen operated the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory at River Park where she cultivated a loyal following of customers. Many craved her decadent chocolates and specialty caramel apples. Although she left the franchise in March, Bowen wasn’t quite ready to retire.
She and Dunston were friends through church and was aware of her home-based cake business, Rachel Makes More Cake. Dunston was becoming known for her eye-popping cakes that are piled high with whatever theme you can imagine. Dunston’s Instagram page, @rachekmakesit, had amassed more than 17,000 followers. And her cakes are in demand.
Her three-month scheduling calendar fills within 24-hours.
Bowen and Dunston eventually got to talking and decided to join forces by opening a bakery and candy store. They settled on the Sierra Vista Mall location because of its location and foot traffic.
Recently, Bowen and Dunston were stocking shelves, baking cupcakes, and dipping candy apples. The store is doing a soft opening this week and will be fully functioning by Monday, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
“This has been a long road but we are really excited about opening this store,” Bowen said. “After leaving Rocky Mountain, I still had so much energy to give. And I loved making chocolate because it makes people happy.”
If you have a sweet tooth, Chocolate Wishes will not fail you. Bowen has recipes for 35 different caramel apples. She plans to rotate different flavors during the year. On the menu board now are 20 flavors, ranging from the savory tasting chamoy to the chocolate-drenched Rocky Road that comes loaded with mini marshmallows.
Customer Macie Decouto was eager to try the dessert taco — a waffle folded into the shape of a taco. But there is no carne asada here, these tacos are filled with stuff like ice cream, gummy bears, sprinkles, chocolate chunks, and toasted marshmallows.
“I’m always down for a dessert taco,” Decouto said. “That sounds so good.”
Dessert tacos will come in 10 flavors, including the “Unicorn” that has birthday cake ice cream, whip cream, marshmallows, unicorn sprinkles and a candy horn. There is also the “Clovis Cowboy” that is loaded with peanut butter cup ice cream, topped with whip, tiger butter bark, Cocoa Puffs, toasted nuts and chocolate drizzle.
Dunston’s cakes are also expected to be a hot item. The cake flavors include chocolate raspberry, marble swirl, and regular vanilla cake filled with butter cream and sprinkles. There will be a total of 12 flavors.
Cakes will be available in a refrigerator case or you can order online.
“We plan on keeping a case full of cakes to help moms out and to help those men who forget their wives’ birthdays,” Dunston said.
And if that isn’t enough to get you to come in, they plan to resurrect a longtime Fresno favorite, the strawberry fruit pizza from Mom’s Pies & Goodies. They hired Becky Gentry, the daughter of Mom’s owner Marion Wells, to make the pizza.
Soon, they will also offer cooking classes and space for children’s parties. They would also like to work with food delivery companies like Grubhub.
“Think about it,” Dunston said. “You will be able to order our yummy desserts while sitting in your house in your pajamas.”