Juicy Fruit

Paul Versluis

FAMILY AFFAIR: Dolce Cobbler Night is a fuss-free, casual social gathering where families unabashedly substitute dessert for dinner, congregating inside and outside the bakery, greeting friends, feeding their spirits and souls. Grandpas and grandmas, aunts, uncles, toddlers and tweens, moms, dads, high school and college students—Brown insists there’s no generation gap when it comes to enjoying cobbler. And while cobbler hasn’t been proven to solve the world’s pressing problems, Brown is convinced the straight-up sweet confection softens some hard edges.

SUGAR RUSH: In addition to Dolce’s Cobbler Night, Brown creates custom treats for customers’ milestones, including lovely engagement, wedding, baby shower and birthday cakes. Any occasion in life—small or super-sized—is worth a spoon or forkful or bite of something decadent, she insists.

SPOONFUL OF HEAVEN: Sweets queen and award-winning pastry chef Erin Brown opened the diminutive Prairie Village bakeshop in 2007, selling cinnamon rolls the size of Arrowhead and whoopee pies that elicited squeals of delight from both sides of the state line. When the economy soured, the pastry innovator looked for a creative way to keep traffic coming through the doors. Brown looked no further than a rustic, old-fashioned cobbler to stimulate business, and Dolce’s Cobbler Night was born in the ‘burbs. Each month, on a designated Friday, Brown and her baking elves whip up dozens of pans of piping hot, fruity-licious cobbler for the masses. Bake it and they will come is Brown’s mantra.

SWEET LOVE: Brown’s reward for dispensing heaping bowls of cobbler to all isn’t caloric in nature—it’s the giddy grins she receives from the other side of the counter from happy customers that are priceless. But Brown sprinkles her sugary sunshine throughout the community, too, donating to schools and charity auctions. And when it comes to the Dolce way of life, Brown’s employees are enthusiastic evangelists of her inspired love, creativity and passion for sweets. “You can feel their enthusiasm for what we do,” says Brown. “It comes through their hands and from their hearts.”

LOCAL SCOOP: Brown sources bushels of fruit from area farmers for her cobblers—raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and peaches. And for customers who like their cobbler a la mode (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?), there’s frozen yogurt and ice cream from hometown purveyors like Shatto Milk Company, Dolce’s partner in a new line of swoon-worthy ice cream sammiches.

Categories: Food, Reviews