CAPITOLA — In Adrienne Vick’s vision of America, every one of us has a bottle of her sweet, aromatic and edible oils in our bedroom.
“I thought about my mom and grandma, who was an Italian lady who always said, ‘you’ve got to cook with love,'” said Vick, the owner of Bedroom Desserts, a new small storefront on the Capitola Esplanade. “I wanted to create something that had a purpose and tasted good.”
A former title insurance sales executive, Vick, 43, is on a mission to bring her locally crafted line of flavorful notions and soaps to a wider customer base. She is gearing up for the Valentine’s Day but, for Vick who focuses on locally made products, everyday is an opportunity for romance.
“I tell my customers to love locally,” Vick said.
The shop, designed to look like an old-fashioned bakery, is staffed mostly by women in their 40s who wear frilly aprons and are trained to help customers understand the benefits and subtleties of each product. The menu includes edible body dust, sensual oils, pheromone oils, tattoo enhancers, chocolate bubble bath, body fondue and flavored lubricants. A vintage cash register rings with a loud bell although cashiers actually use Square, an online application, to ring up purchases.
“People have never seen anything like it,” Vick said, noting it’s not an adult shop but a place where people of all ages can feel comfortable and moms can bring their kids. “I call it ‘desserts in a bottle.’ Every bottle tastes like food.”
Customers can taste the products in the store. They are made of food-grade ingredients without preservatives.
They bubble, shimmer and warm and are manufactured in small batches to ensure freshness. A tray includes ice cream scoop- and cupcake-shaped items that fizz in the bath and turn into bars of soap. Glow-in-the-dark bubble bath is sold in plain or “romantic” packaging. Purchased items are wrapped in small white pastry boxes with lacy doilies and pink and white twine tied in a bow.
“It’s not an adult shop,” Vick says. “It’s an edible body and bath shop. I’m the first person in the whole industry that’s bought this to the mainstream.”
Bedroom Desserts is an offshoot of Romantic Nights For Two, a company she launched two days after she was let go from an executive position in a Silicon Valley title insurance company in 2007.
“The economy took a dump and I needed to re-find myself,” Vick said. “I noticed the products out there were really terrible.”
Initially she sold other people’s products in a successful home pleasure party business that included a Hollywood circuit with nondisclosures. Two years later, she added a lingerie line for all sizes and expanded into a store, decidedly more adult-themed, on 17th Avenue in Santa Cruz. Bedroom Desserts is a more family friendly brand with its own G-rated website (http://www.bedroomdesserts.com) and store. She is selling wholesale as well.
The Citizen Hotel in Sacramento has been offering her products in black boxes for several years, said Wayne Hall, front office manager.
Vick said she considers herself a relationship counselor as well as a saleswoman and says customer service is what sets her business apart. She’s been known to show up at the store on off hours, just to help a client find the right item.
“People really need this. I’ve sold half the town stuff. People just light up when they taste the stuff. Where else can you get a bottle of hot apple pie lubricant that actually tastes like apple pie?
Follow Sentinel correspondent Jennifer Pittman at Twitter.com/jenniferpittman
WHAT: A retail and wholesale business that designs, makes and sells preservative-free, food-based body and bath products for children and adults.
LOCATION: 224 Esplanade, Capitola
LEADERSHIP TEAM: Adrienne Vick
INFORMATION: 831-316-0835 or visit http://www.bedroomdesserts.com
WINTER HOURS: Weekdays noon to 5 p.m., weekends open until 7 p.m. Closed Wednesday. Open late on Valentine’s Day and available on call for special orders.