There’s a certain buzz these days along Brazil St. in Zamalek. Not far from the Mobinil store on the north side of 26th of July St., there’s been a rash of openings at the higher end of the shopping spectrum. Within the space of a few months, along a two- or three-block section of the street, the old Isis shop has been re-invented as the “Organic and More” supermarket; the upscale chocalateer Celebrations has opened; an upscale nursery school has arrived; and there’s a beautiful new incarnation of the Sharouk bookstore. Not to be outdone, Zamalek favorite Diwan has opened up a stationary branch just around the corner.
We haven’t even mentioned the upscale “anchor tenants” in this neighborhood, the Safar Khan gallery and the Zakhareef craft store. I’ve even been hearing rumors that a new upscale cupcake store is opening in the old Radio Shack premises, and that that a Malaika luxury linen store is opening in the area.
If all this mercantile innovation has left you in need of refreshment, a new café has joined the mix–Sugar ‘n Spice, the latest brainchild of Cairo gastro-entrepreneur Stephanie Hooper. Many expats have been familiar with Stephanie’s baked goods for some time. Finding a lack in Cairo of real, American-style, succulent desserts, Stephanie began making cookies, cakes and pastries out of her home kitchen. When this space (or her family’s patience) became over-stretched, she opened up her own dedicated kitchen in Mohendiseen.
Now, with Sugar ‘n Spice, Stephanie has made her first foray away from delivery and into the retail business. You can tell a bit about the store’s ambitions through the slogan printed on the menu: “Life is uncertain, eat dessert first!” Sugar ‘n Spice has a small kitchen downstairs, and comfortable seating upstairs. A range of Stephanie’s treasures are on display, including cookies, pies, brownies, cakes, and baked goods, including rolls, muffins, biscotti and breads. We’ve been eating off of this menu for years, and some of our favorites include the carrot cake, pecan bars, lemon meringue pies, and chocolate chip cookies and brownies.
Sugar ‘n Spice also serves as a front for Stephanie’s still significant delivery business. There’s a huge amount on offer, not all of it displayed. The variation is impressive: cookies, using Belgian, American, dark or milk chocolate chips; specialty cookies including oatmeal, peanut butter, ginger, and personalized frosting; pumpkin, sweet potato, chocolate or apple pies; chocolate cakes of various depths; cheese cakes with blueberry, raspberry or mocha; breads with apple, banana nut, spiced zucchini or pumpkin spice… you get the picture.
Sugar ‘n Spice also offers a lunch menu, serving up salads, sandwiches, quiche, soups, pizzas, hot dogs, and, of course, desserts.
Sugar ‘n Spice is a small, pleasant, family-run café. Chances are the barista serving up your coffee may be one of Stephanie’s daughters. An old nursery rhyme tells that “girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice” (we’ll leave aside for the moment what it says about boys), and Sugar ‘n Spice–the store, that is–is sure to attract a following among Cairo’s sweet-tooths.
Details: 6 Brazil St., Zamalek, Open daily 7:30am-11pm, wifi coming; For delivery: (011) 336 5321; firstname.lastname@example.org; Lunch for two, including pastries, LE 80.