Local vendor spotlight: D' Sweets…Custard Tarts and Other Treats

Local vendor spotlight: D’ Sweets…Custard Tarts and Other Treats

Dawn Reid’s gift to you…using a recipe from her grandmother, D’ Sweets brings you crustless custard tarts that keep you coming back for more.

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(Pictured: Sigona's local vendors. Highlighted: Dawn Reid of D' Sweets, made in Redwood City)

Milk, eggs, sugar, butter, flour, vanilla extract, salt. The combination of these, along with a few other secret ingredients and tips relayed down from generations past, produces a crustless custard tart that is incredibly delectable and unmatchably delicious.

Dawn with tart

Dawn Reid, founder of D' Sweets, has made tarts as long as she can remember, using a recipe for French Egg Custard passed down from her grandmother.

Dawn Reid, founder of D’ Sweets, uses a French Egg Custard recipe handed down from her grandmother to her mother to her. Dawn says it was her mother who made them make everything from scratch, and from the time she was old enough to stand on a chair and help with the batter, Dawn has been baking homemade goodies.

“I had always made custard tarts for friends or to take to a party or gathering as something that’s different than a pie or cake,” said Dawn. “I got the idea to start my own business when some co-workers at my previous workplace devoured an entire French Egg Custard before break time so I had to run home to grab a second tart!”

“Dawn’s tarts taste just like what my grandma used to make,” said John Nava, specialty foods buyer for Sigona’s. “I know I’ve said that about some other locally-made products, but the products taste like what grandma made because they use good ingredients and build from scratch, bringing back that old-fashioned taste. There’s a lot of nostalgia there and you can tell they take time and have pride in what they do.”

Dawn uses all natural products in her tarts, and sources her ingredients as locally as possible.

All D’ Sweets products are made from scratch using all natural ingredients. Dawn also aims to source locally when possible, for example, using Clover brand milk and eggs, which is produced in Petaluma, CA, and she also has established relationships with local farmers for other ingredients, such as fresh-picked lemons Lemon Ladies Orchard in Emerald Hills.

Dawn, who is also a classically trained clarinetist and cellist, does take pride in what she creates. Having started D’ Sweets just a couple years ago, her company is growing quickly and her tarts are now in several gourmet stores around the peninsula. What’s more is that her creative spirit and drive have already landed her an honor from SFweekly.com’s food blog, SFoodie, where D’ Sweets was named one of the “Five Must-Eat Treats” at the Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival!

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"My ultimate goal is to be featured on Oprah," said Dawn while talking about her goal for herself and the company. "You know, if you're going to dream, dream big!"

“The ability to be creative is one of my favorite parts of this business. I created all the flavors we offer with the exception of the French Egg because that’s the original recipe from my grandmother,” said Dawn. “I also love knowing that I make something you can give people, just like musicians give music to the audience.”

The act of giving is something in which Dawn and her family truly believe. D’ Sweets participates in and donates to many local fundraisers around the Peninsula, such as the Ronald McDonald House and Visual Aid, an organization which encourages artists with life-threatening illnesses to continue their creative work.  As D’ Sweets is a small, family-run business, Dawn’s husband and her children, Echo and DJ, are involved one way or another, whether it be preparation, demoing or staffing festivals and fundraisers.

Additionally, Dawn’s extended family, a great group of women she met through Jazzercise and church, have pitched in where needed, be it making boxes, washing dishes, or just serving a warm meal after a long day. Even Dawn’s mom, at age 89, acts as D’ Sweets East Coast sales representative, and will be selling them to friends and family in and around the Philadelphia area!

D’ Sweets offers a wide assortment of flavors, from DJ’s Decadent Chocolate to Extreme Lemon. Wouldn’t one of D’ Sweets tarts make your Thanksgiving dessert spread spectacular? That’s why we’re excited to offer you a free Uncle Frank’s Sweet Potato or Echo’s Favorite Pumpkin tart, so remember to print out and bring in your coupon!

D'Sweets decorated tarts

Cook’s tip: Dawn suggests serving all her tarts at room temperature, except for the lemon which should be served chilled. Don’t be afraid to spruce them up, either! Incorporate your favorite fruits, flowers, sherbet, whipped cream or crème fraiche to make your tart even more special.

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