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RED BANK: SUGARUSH ADDING CAFFEINE RUSH

amanda porter sugarush 062016Taking over the business from her brother and brother-in-law, Amanda Porter plans to add a café to Sugarush next week. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallIt’s not so much that the block on which her business resides is undercaffeinated, by urban standards, that compelled new Sugarush owner Amanda Porter to open a café at the Red Bank desserts shop.

But add to that the fact that she’s got available storefront space; a bakery out back with the capacity to create a whole new, non-dessert treats menu; and is a self-style “coffee snob,” and well, how could she not?

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PIEHOLE: SALAD, COOKIES AND KEYTAR

sugarrush chris paseka (1)Chris Paseka of Sugarush talks to PieHole about appearing on Food Networks new show, ‘Rewrapped.’ (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels medium

redbankgreen’s PieHole is all about local food and drink. If you haven’t liked us on Facebook yet or followed us on Twitter, you may have missed some of these recent stories…

RED BANK: CUPCAKERS TAKE ON ENTENMANN’S

sugarrush chris paseka (1)Chris Paseka of Red Bank’s Sugarush talks to PieHole about appearing on Food Network’s ‘Rewrapped.’ (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumHow hard is it to replicate the taste and texture of a classic cookie?

Chris Paseka and Jesse Bello of Red Bank’s East Front Street cupcakerie, Sugarush will show the world what’s involved when they appear as contestants Monday night on a new Food Network program, Rewrapped.

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SUGARUSH GETS ‘REWRAPPED’ ON FOOD NET

rewrapped sugarushYes, Red Bank dessert lovers, that IS Chris Paseka and his partner, Jesse Bello, at far left and right respectively, on the set of the new Food Network Show ‘Rewrapped.’ The owners of Red Bank’s Sugarush bakery are scheduled to appear on a future episode of the show, which debuts Monday night and has contestants “re-create and then reinvent some of America’s sweet and savory treats” under the watch of host Joey Fatone. Paseka tells PieHole that he is contractually bound to secrecy about the his and Bello’s involvement in the show but will give us a heads-up before the episode runs. (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: SHOP OWNERS CHRISTEN SPACE

jesse & chris 1 111713

room 111713Sugarush owners Chris Paseka and Jesse Bello debuted the new party room at their Red Bank cupcake shop by holding their own wedding there Sunday. In attendance was Kathryn Barnett, whose dance studio occupied the East Front Street space for three decades before relocating to Middletown earlier this year.

“I hope they’ll be as happy as I was here for 30 years,” she told redbankgreen. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

BARELY DRESSED FOR CANCER PREVENTION

Supporters packed Teak Restaurant for the second edition of Go Naked & Check Yourself on Sunday. (Photos by Rebecca Desfosse.)

By: REBECCA DESFOSSE

Sugarush cupcakes and Sweetest Sin have done it again. Teak Restaurant was nearly busting at the seams for the second sold-out Go Naked and Check Yourself cancer fundraiser and awareness raiser Sunday night.

Waitresses passed around food, cocktails, and minicupcakes. Lingerie and underwear models, in various states of undress, sold raffle tickets. But partiers weren’t there for the models, of course: they were there to learn how to check themselves for detectable cancers of the skin, testicles and breasts.

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IN RED BANK, A CULINARY LULLABYE OF B’WAY

Clockwise from top left: Young Broadway veterans Katie Boren, Miguel Cervantes, Jeff Kready and Kenita R. Miller offer up a four-course cabaret performance when Red Bank Flavour serves up some BROADWAY IN RED BANK at Two River Theater on April 16

Last we heard from Red Bank Flavour, the promotional partnership was busily pounding the pavement to drum up interest in a Dine Downtown campaign for March. As April rounds the halfway point, however, the flavour of the month is not so much Broad Street as it is the bright lights and sensory stimulus of Broadway.

On the evening of Monday, April 16 — at a point in the drab foothills of the working week, when theaters are generally dark and restaurants largely devoid of lines — all eyes will be on Two River Theater, as more than a dozen of the borough’s favorite restaurateurs, caterers and vendors join forces for a night of tastes and talent that puts the show back in a showcase called Broadway in Red Bank.

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IT’S ALL A MATTER OF TASTE IN CUPCAKE CITY

Photos by Stacie Fanelli. To enlarge the slideshow, click the embiggen symbol in the lower right corner.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Late in 2009 and into 2010, a sign in a window on West Front Street indicated a new specialty shop, Cake Red Bank, would be moving in soon, teasing the palates of passersby.

It never came.

But then, amid a series of pounding snowstorms that buried the area, a couple from Manhattan brought baked batter to the table in a nook on East Front called Sugarush, offering an array of cupcakes and confectionaries. It appeared  that Chris Paseka and Jesse Bello-Paseka had firmly staked their frosting knives in the ground.

Little did they know that two prospective cupcake merchants were greasing mini foils in preparation for their own cupcake outlets within blocks of Sugarush. Within a matter months, Red Bank, a town of 1.7 square miles, has become home to three cupcake shops — the Pasekas’ Sugarush, Cupcake Magician and Mr. Cupcakes — setting the stage for a turf war.

But several months in, the rivalry has shaped up as plain vanilla, with owners playing nice and customers, apparently welcome to options, having largely formed their own opinions and allegiances, showing that even in a small market, it’s possible to find a niche within a niche.

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RED BANK’S LATEST RUSH: CUPCAKES

sugarush guys 2011Jesse Bello-Paseka, left, and Chris Paseka opened the doors to Sugarush just after Christmas on East Front Street. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

rcsm2_010508For years, it was a joke among friends that Jesse Bello-Paseka and his partner, Chris Paseka, should take their hobby out of their Manhattan kitchen and to the public.

The couple, who, until recently did marketing and design work on Broadway, were known for their planning, decorating and baking prowess for private events and parties. But they grew tired of the daily grind in the city, and decided to make a change in lifestyle shortly after they were married this summer.

“A few years ago, we joked that we’d quit our lives, quit the rat race and go to a small town and live our lives kind of stress-free,” Paseka said. “After the wedding, we were like, why don’t we entertain it?”

It’s not quite the stress-free life they imagined — not yet, at least — but the pair is perfectly happy with their reincarnation as a baking and business duo and owners of Sugarush, a new specialty cupcake shop and bakery in Red Bank.

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