Sweet Peas offers fine food at an affordable price

Melanie Savage, Hartford Courant
·3 min read

Sweet Peas Fine Foods and Farm Market owner Ken Cardinal and his son, Chef/Owner Tory Cardinal, realized there was a market in the prepared food business in the Brooklyn area. Both have traveled to other cities in the U.S., and noticed a trend in the area of prepared foods.

Ken, also a chef and a businessman/entrepreneur for more than 35 years, had the idea to open a fine foods establishment in the Quiet Corner in northeast Connecticut. The intent was to carry many local products from New England, including their own chef-prepared foods and baked goods.

“We prepare all foods on-site, with Tory and two additional chefs,” said Ken.

Crystal Ethridge manages the store, as well as a staff of 10 sales associates.

Sweet Peas offers more than 100 affordable and delicious chef-prepared entrees, sides, sandwiches, soups, salads and appetizers daily. They offer fresh bread, pies, pastries, cookies and cakes. Weekly specials can be found at www.sweetpeasfinefoods.com. The business also offers catering for any occasion.

Sweet Peas offers local goods, such Connecticut maple syrup, honey, hot sauce and more, as well as unique groceries, perfect for the foodie. They offer a variety of ravioli and sauces from the famous Venda Ravioli on Federal Hill in Providence Rhode Island. There are also gift baskets and gift certificates available.

Like most businesses, Sweet Peas was initially impacted by COVID.

“We were fortunate in that we did not have to close our door, because we are under the grocery umbrella,” said Cardinal. “We were able to stay afloat by offering curbside pickup.”

Sweet Peas limited customer capacity by 50% as required, and elevated sanitation practices so that employees were protected and customers felt safe shopping in the store. Cardinal said they did not need to alter prepared food or bakery offerings, or reduce inventories in any of their other categories.

“We reached our 10-year anniversary during COVID in April, and wished we could have celebrated this milestone,” said Cardinal. Despite the disappointment, Cardinal said they are humbled to have made it to this point, and have been extremely fortunate to maintain business during the pandemic.

For the Superbowl, Sweet Peas will be offering a variety of appetizers, such as wings and egg rolls, family-size lasagna, macaroni and cheese, jumbo twice-baked potatoes, and more, as well as desserts. See their menu at www.sweetpeasfinefoods.com

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Enjoy a Valentine’s “Date Night In” with Sweet Peas with Lobster Risotto, Prime Rib, Steak Tips, Stuffed Jumbo Shrimp, Chocolate-Covered Strawberries, Cherry Cheesecake, Chocolate Cake Bombs and more. Menu coming soon.

“We have a great community that understands the importance of shopping small and supporting local businesses in the Quiet Corner,” said Cardinal, citing loyal, regular customers. And, “We are always so excited to see many new faces everyday!” he added.

Sweet Peas Fine Foods is located at 520 Providence Road, in Brooklyn. You can reach them at (860) 779-3040. Also check out the business’ website, Instagram and Facebook pages.