|Business partners Tariq Hanna and Joel Dondis were given the choice between abandoning New Orleans after Katrina and sticking it out...They chose the latter and are rewriting the playbook on their quest to build Sucré, their upscale "Sweet Boutique," into a household name.
Joel, a former Emeril Lagasse protégé, is an award-winning restaurateur with several successful businesses in the New Orleans culinary landscape catering to the blue-blood New Orleans crowd. He is the consummate professional.
Tariq is an artist, a rocker with the irreverent swagger and the art-worthy chops to prove it. He finds inspiration in strange places, like Live Rock Karaoke Night, flying in F-15 Fighter Jets and Rush (the band that is). He's a handful.
Both are passionate as hell and that's what makes them successful...but it also causes the greatest friction. Meeting the high standards set forth by "Certain People" (Tariq's nickname for Joel) is a daily challenge. Joel is calculating, deliberate and controlled. Joel has a clear vision of where Sucré is going, but communicating that to his teammates, is not always so clear. Tariq makes exquisite works of art and that takes time. He needs spontaneity...it's what fuels his creativity. It's his process. Like a married couple, they squabble, but despite how different their personalities, their tenacious pursuit to be THE gold standard for fine desserts and pastries in America is what keeps them going.
Amid the chaos that is life in New Orleans, the Sucré team scrambles to keep up with an overwhelming demand their success has caused. Deadlines loom, opinions on what is doable differ, the internet and retail divisions fight over available product after Washington Post article breaks, Lenny Kravitz wants some yummies delivered for Jazz Fest, high-end wedding planners call a million times to make changes, new store opening in a matter of days, and oh, Mardi Gras is next week...got 5,000 king cakes? New Orleans doesn't need to look for an excuse to celebrate...every weekend there's one festival or another going on and usually chaos is part of the equation.
Together this odd pairing of bedfellows is living an American dare-to-dream story where art meets commerce and proves there's a fine line between bitter and sweet!