A luxury dessert company that has made sweets for Justin Timberlake, Oprah Winfrey and Paris Hilton — and for execs at Maserati, Facebook and Neiman Marcus — is launching a tiny, pink shop inside Galleria Dallas.
Starting Nov. 6, Make Your Life Sweeter is selling cotton candy, popcorn, truffles and hot cocoa in a store for the first time.
Owner Yasmeen Tadia’s business was created in 2013 to catch the eye of celebrities and businesspeople. It’s beautiful, fancy food that looks good at parties. The company was never positioned for brick-and-mortar-store sales until her high-dollar events dried up during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. Tadia needed a new way to sell desserts after she says COVID-19 “killed the business.”
“That’s why this exists,” she says, standing inside a cotton candy wonderland she painted herself, among a team of four people. “This is the only thing that can keep my business alive.”
Corporate event planners took notice of her desserts because of the variety. The company makes fried pickle popcorn and wasabi cotton candy, but it also has more traditional flavors like sea-salt caramel cotton candy. One of Tadia’s favorites is baklava cotton candy, which she created specifically for Ramadan.
Tadia secured the space — a former Godiva Chocolatier — at the Galleria only a few weeks ago. She plans to sell sweets during the holiday season, with the intention of closing the shop in early January.
“Unless,” she says, eyes wide: Unless Dallasites like the 21-item dessert tasting.
Available by reservation only, the tasting highlights some of the shop’s most interesting bites. Tadia believes her team can serve all 21 courses in just one hour. Tadia knows it’s an indulgence, but she thinks it’s the kind of experience people in Dallas might just love.
“I always want to make people happy,” she says.
The price of the 21-item tasting starts at $115 per person. Each bite is intended to be small but special. For instance, one course is a tiny martini glass filled with non-alcoholic sparkling passionfruit-mango juice. Tableside, they blow a bubble and float it atop the fizzy orange drink. In a matter of seconds, the bubble vanishes as a sultry cloud of smoke.
Another course could be the shop’s peanut-butter-and-jelly truffle studded with toasted quinoa. The truffle is painted royal purple on the outside.
The experience feels a little mysterious, as employees top drinks with flecks of edible gold and twist poofs of cotton candy. Some of it is a little secretive, too: Tadia wouldn’t say how the bubble bursts into steam or what they have to do to get cotton candy to taste like mango chili or black licorice.
Tadia says she takes some inspiration from South Africa, where she was born, saying, “in South African culture, food is everything.” She later grew up in Richardson and attended Southern Methodist University.
Cotton candy, served in little buckets, ranges from $7.50 to $25.50. Popcorn costs $6.75 to $14. Boxes can be personalized, she says, showing a box that will be given to Troy Aikman.
While her desserts were for sale on the company website before the coronavirus pandemic, online sales used to make up just 5% of the business, she says. Without corporate events across the globe, Tadia hopes she can reposition some of the pizzazz from luxury events into a sugary shop in Dallas with an over-the-top tasting menu.
“Experiences,” she says. “It’s all about creating experiences.”
Make Your Life Sweeter opens Nov. 6 at Galleria Dallas. Enter Macy’s or Banana Republic; the shop is on the first floor halfway between. The 21-dessert tasting takes place inside the shop only; masks are required inside Galleria Dallas and Make Your Life Sweeter, until customers are seated and eating or drinking. Reservations open Nov. 1 on OpenTable.