There are many reasons customers visit Varin’s Sweet Shop, but the croffle will bring anyone who likes waffles or croissants back. Based on a Hong Kong egg waffle, the croffle is but one of the sweet treats created by Tien Oudomsouk and her daughter Christina, who is the owner of the business.
A bite of one croffle is going to have your mouth doing a happy dance. It has the crunchy outside of a waffle and the buttery delicate inside of a très French croissant, and can be eaten alone or served with fruit or ice cream.
The foodie family has been doing bubble tea and sweet treat pop-ups at events and festivals since 2018, but when COVID-19 hit they decided to go bricks and mortar. Oudomsouk’s uncle owns the beloved Bancock Café, located next door.
“We like to travel and try different foods,” explained Oudomsouk, “then we come back and try to recreate some of the favorite things we tasted on our travels to share with others. Our desserts are a blend of international flavors.”
Many of Varin’s goodies are a blend of Asian and French flavors. For example, they have a special drink called the Crème Brûlée Series. It is a tea-based drink with the famous custard dessert on top, finished off with the traditional caramelized brown sugar glaze. Flavor options include taro, Oreo, Matcha, brown sugar, Thai tea, and coffee.
“While we have a base menu,” said Oudomsouk, “We are always coming up with new ideas. Like next week when we introduce our version of what is known as a Chinese or Portuguese Egg Tart. Ours is from a secret family recipe passed to me from my godmother who lives in Texas.”
Their base menu includes boba tea, bubble waffles, and ice cream. Their milk teas include Thai Tea and Jasmine, as well as strawberry, coconut, and many others both traditional and unique.
Bubble waffles come in four flavors, original, chocolate, chocolate chip, and confetti. They are filled with ice cream and toppings like bananas, Oreos, cookie crisps, or almonds; and finished off with sauces like caramel syrup or Nutella.
Ice cream flavors vary from the traditional chocolate and vanilla, to the child pleasing birthday cake, to current favorites like sea salt caramel cheesecake.
Check the display case for the day’s cake offering. The double chocolate cake is very enticing, but the mile-high chiffon cakes dazzle the eye and the pallet with flavors such as coffee, mixed fruit, and Taro coconut.
One thing that the family demands of themselves is the use of the finest ingredients. Growing up in an entrepreneurial family in the food business they understand that it is quality and service that bring people coming back.
“We use ceremony grade Matcha powder for all of our drinks,” explains Oudomsouk. “It is more expensive, but it has the richest flavor. We also use premium grade tea leaves. It makes a difference. All of our colorings are also natural, for example we use beet juice for red and taro for purple. And we make everything fresh every day.”
Oudomsouk also makes birthday cakes that can be pre-ordered and picked up. As well as small batches of special items that when they sell out during the day, that is all there is. It is their way of seeing what their customers like and don’t like.
“If one of our small batch items is a hit, then we may add it to the menu,” said Oudomsouk. “We are always trying new things as we discover new foods and flavor blends.”
Varin’s Sweet Shop
315 Robert Rose Drive, Suite A
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11:00 am until 8:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.
Sunday, 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.