Adeline (Addie) Lutts is a hard-working Salemite who has only slowed down when her hand was injured in a dough-sheeter.
Her boyfriend pitched in during her week-long recovery, then she was back in her rented commercial kitchen creating custom confections for local restaurants and coffeehouses.
Founder and owner of Sweet Adeline’s, which began operations last Valentine’s Day, Lutts says her key to making a profit in her first year was to grow slowly and keep a low overhead.
Originally the business of her grandmother, Anne Shaw’s Nana’s Kitchen in the Salem Willows, Sweet Adeline’s grew out of Lutts’ home kitchen. She is looking for a retail storefront of her own by June.
“I was always making things my whole life,” Lutts said. “That’s why I love baking. I get to use my hands to produce things that make people happy.”
“Gilding is a very historical trade so there’s a lot of overlapping,” Lutts said. “Baking, though contemporary, is also steeped in history. Chemistry is involved in both of them. I have memories of when baking was really good.”
Sweet Adeline’s doesn’t use chemicals or flavoring in its many products. Many are gluten-free and/or vegan. Lutts said this is a growing market, as people are asking for such things in restaurants.
Lutts, who is vegetarian and has been a vegan at times, said “vegan is close to my heart. It’s a healthy alternative. I like the challenge of cooking vegan.”
Since Sweet Adeline’s makes desserts exclusively for restaurants catered to their menus, Lutts said she really enjoys recipe development.
But she said she never gets tired of cooking. Even after baking all day she’ll go home and cook dinner. Her busiest time revolves around the summer farmers' markets.
“The escalation of summer is out of this world,” Lutts said. “And at the farmers' market I would get four proposals for marriage on a good day.”
What does she do on her off time, if any?
“I love to read,” Lutts said. “I’ll go to the library and peruse every cookbook I can. I go to galleries, movies. I don’t have any super hobbies. Baking was my hobby and I turned it into my job.”
Lutts’ father, Timothy, writes financial newsletters in Salem. Her mother Julie Shaw-Lutts is an artist. She has a younger brother in college and a younger sister who lives in Brooklyn as a writer.
Lutts said her Midnight Brownies sell well. They are also among her favorite things to make.
Lutts is now preparing for the summer farmer’s markets. Visit her website at www.sweet-adelines.com.