Having adopted a vegan lifestyle herself in 2007, Andrea Kyan realized there were few-to-no dessert options for vegans. Out of this, she developed Pure Sweets & Co., a line of vegan, organic, gluten-free, kosher sweets. Growing her menu of healthy, delicious treats, Kyan began making juice presses with her unrefined ingredients. She was driven to encourage others to lead a healthy life by eating better.
After a few years of selling her products to local retailers, Kyan decided to open a brick-and-mortar location. “I was looking around on my own,” Kyan said, “searching for spaces I liked, and when I saw one I liked, I’d contact a broker, but no one took me seriously.” Kyan saw a space listed by MSC Retail’s own Brittany Goldberg and contacted her immediately: “Not only did she take me seriously as a business owner, but she made it happen fast. She knew what was going to work for me and really looked after my vision and my goals.” It was important to Kyan that she not only have a space for her shop, but a property with outdoor space and room to grow so that she could expand her business with things such as a juice bar, a kitchen to make savory foods, and space to host workshops and classes.
“I knew from the beginning [1706 Locust Street] was the right place – it is close enough to Rittenhouse’s main drag, but not so close that I had to pay crazy rent,” Kyan said of her new store. Walnut Street is home to many national big-name brands, such as Intermix, Barneys, Theory, etc., and Kyan’s company is local and truly homegrown. It was important to Kyan she maintain the “local vibe” of her company with a location such as her own.
There are plenty of exciting neighbors on Locust Street, such as SuitSupply, Flywheel, Tequila, and Parc, all of whom help to drive the foot traffic to her word-of-mouth-only advertised café. “The only concern I had in opening in Center City was the price point of our products, because there is no one else trying to do what we do. People are comparing our products to other companies, but no one else is making their products from scratch. We are using fresh, whole ingredients and spending days to make our products,” Kyan expressed. However, even with an “idealistic revenue goal”, Pure Sweets & Co. hit their goal on the first day, and what they thought they’d be making in a month’s fall, they have made in just a few days.
So what does she have to say about Pure Sweets & Co.’s new home? “I love it! It’s really magical to look up the street and see Rittenhouse Square. Even during construction, I’d have people stopping to walk around and gaze in. Seeing the customers in the store browsing our products makes all the sleepless nights worth it.”