HIDDEN F&B: Danetra Richardson, SWANK Desserts

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By Helen Mitternight

(Editors Note: Charleston is such a foodie town that food and beverage superstars are hiding in plain sight, out of the James Beard limelight, but still very much creating and serving amazing food and drinks. This series profiles Charleston’s “hidden F&Bs.”)

Danetra Richardson thought she might open a late-night dessert place, hence the name SWANK Desserts, which stands for Sweets With A Nightly Kick. For now, she’s turning out sweets for weddings and parties out of professional kitchen space.

Danetra’s take

Favorite Kitchen Tool or Gadget: Offset spatula   

In My Refrigerator (3 Things): Eggs, Coconut water (because I love smoothies), Kombucha. And hummus.

In My Pantry (3 Things): White cheddar popcorn, tortilla chips for the hummus, and, although I hate to admit it, instant grits.

Favorite After-work Hangout: Cane Rhum Bar – they have a great happy hour and they have yucca fries. Love yucca fries!  

Favorite Charleston Restaurant Other Than Yours: FIG  

Comfort Food: My grandmother’s red rice    

Favorite Smell: Brown butter. It’s my favorite smell and flavor. And vanilla, although I have a love-hate relationship with vanilla. I have to use it, but it’s so expensive!      

Favorite Drink: Rose.   

Number of Hours You Work a Week: I can’t even guess. It’s never-ending when you’re an entrepreneur.  

Customer Pet Peeve: When people underestimate their budget and what they have to spend. It puts me in an uncomfortable position to have to tell them, for what you need and your guest count, that won’t work.

Most Under-rated Ingredient: Passionfruit puree. It scares people, but it’s so good.

Favorite Meal to Cook at Home: Mac and cheese. I use sharp cheddar, mild cheddar and Gouda.  

Best Advice a Mentor Gave You: It was Dr. Robert Frash and he taught me how to make a business plan. I use everything he taught me about restaurant finance.

You can order from SWANK Desserts at https://www.swankdesserts.com/

Click here to listen to the companion podcast.