The 2nd Annual Sweetest Tasting in Central Ohio will be held next Thursday at the Grand Oaks Event Center in Grove City from 6 to 8 p.m.
The event is hosted by Rachael’s Dessert House, which will offer attendees about 20 made-from-scratch sweets they can sample with wines selected by Rachel Clinkscale, the business’s owner and CEO.
“We will have a bar that will offer two red wines, with one of them being a dry wine, which would pair well with chocolate,” she says. “Also, we will have two white wines, with one of them being a sweet wine, which would also pair well with dessert.”
Clinkscale’s husband came up with the idea for the tasting, saying it would be a great marketing tool.
“We figured with people tasting the product, they would want to buy from us either immediately or in the future, and keep us in mind for future events and tell others about us,” says Clinkscale. “This has proved to be very true thus far and has been a fun way to market and showcase our product, and get immediate feedback from both our existing and potential customer base.”
Inspired by the success of entrepreneurs she watched on the Food Network, Clinkscale launched Rachael’s Dessert House in 2006.
“My family has always made eating an event,” she says. “As kids, we always had big home-cooked family meals at my grandmother’s or my mother’s house. Of course, dinner wouldn’t be complete without a dessert made from scratch. So, naturally, when I grew up and had my own family, I carried on the tradition of cooking and baking from scratch.”
Several of the recipes used by Clinkscale’s grandmother and mother have found their way into the business, but she also uses quite a few of her own.
“Oftentimes after tasting something I decide to recreate it and add my own touch and preferences,” she says.
Clinkscale currently works out of a licensed commercial kitchen off Sawmill Road and usually delivers orders to customers herself.
“I’d love to have a storefront one day that seats roughly about a dozen customers,” she says. “But primarily I would like to have my own location, so that I can continue to be a fresh dessert supplier for customers [and] a fresh dessert supplier for other businesses, such as caterers, coffee shops, and restaurants.”
She already does a bit of the latter, as Rachael Dessert House’s cheesecake bites −in triple chocolate, strazzberry buxom blonde, tirimisu, and turtle flavors− are available at Carfagna’s and its lemon pound cake and layer cakes are available at Zanzibar Brews.
Clinkscale’s biggest entrepreneurial challenge to date has been dealing with rejection from other businesses.
“In the sales arena, rejections come quite frequently when trying to get my product in front of people,” she says, adding that her husband often reminds her she shouldn’t take them personally.
“Therefore I keep telling myself that I have to be willing to get out of my comfort zone in order keep moving forward,” she says. “Taking this approach has netted me some great new customer relationships.”
To learn more about Rachael’s Dessert House, or to purchase tickets to the Sweetest Tasting in Central Ohio, visit RachaelsDessertHouse.com.
Single tickets are $17 in advance , $23 with wine included. Tickets for couples are $29 in advance, $41 with wine included. All tickets are $5 more the day of the event.