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The Sweet Side of Lenox

Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 11:30 a.m. CDT
(CNA photo by SARAH BROWN)
Misha Curtis, of Lenox, poses with her freshly baked orange-vanilla cupcakes, which she garnishes with whipped vanilla frosting and a sugar-covered candy orange slice and glittered pom-pom.

Say hello to The Sweet Side.

The new Lenox bakery and cafe, 110 N. Main St., which opened March 9, is owned by Lenox residents Misha and Mark Curtis. The Curtises also own Lenox Hardware, which they purchased in January 2012.

The front door of this sweet-treat boutique is emblazoned with the words “Lenox Hardware’s Sweet Side.” Inside, Misha, dressed in a ruffled apron is shuffling around the kitchen, decorating gourmet cupcakes.

Misha and her staff bake desserts daily. Some of their cupcake flavors include chocolate, pistachio, strawberry, orange sherbet, vanilla and samoa – a decadent blend of chocolate, caramel and coconut. Additionally, The Sweet Side serves cookies, cakes, pies and scotch-a-roos.

The cafe’s lunch menu includes soup and salad daily, and will expand to sandwiches in the near future. The drink menu offers lattes, cappuccinos and caramel apple cider in addition to traditional coffee and tea.

The Sweet Side also features a carefully curated selection of antique decor and handmade gifts, such as quilts made by Lenox resident Audrey Dukes.

“I have collected those (antiques) for many years,” said Misha. “I love to go to auctions.”

Misha said the storefront, which is now The Sweet Side, served as storage to the neighboring hardware store for many years.

“It was just such a nice storefront window,” said Misha. “I have always wanted to own a cafe or bakery, or something like it.”

Misha, who is originally from Winterset, graduated from Orient-Macksburg Schools, before studying veterinary nursing in Colorado and New Mexico. She then decided to return to Iowa eight years ago, where she studied nursing at Southwestern Community College and met her husband Mark.

In addition to running the cafe, Misha also works at Greater Regional Medical Center as a registered nurse in the labor and delivery department, where she will continue to work a couple of days a month. Misha said the flexibility of hours at the cafe and hospital allow her to have more time to spend with her family.

The Curtises have three daughters, Avalyn, 4, Izabelle, 6, and Emily Adams, 12.

“My 12-year-old loves helping out and will come to work here soon,” said Misha. “The little ones want to, too. It’s fun to have them in here.”

Misha is also a freelance photographer, and has a professional photography studio set up in the back of the cafe where she meets with her clients for portraits.

“I do a little bit of everything,” said Misha.

The Sweet Side is currently open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturdays and closed Sunday and Monday.

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