TONASKET- A sweet new business, Dulce Delicia, has locals addicted in the short time since the husband-wife team, Sergio Hernandez and Anallely Chavez, opened their business in Tonasket.
While opening a new restaurant during a global pandemic has been tough on the restaurant industry and may seem counterintuitive, Chavez and her husband are among many other entrepreneurs in the nation who have refused to give up and decided to take the risk and launch a new business in the era of COVID-19.Dulce Delcia translates from Spanish to sweet delight. This sweet delight came as a welcomed surprise for many locals who flock in by the car full on their way to work, with the kids, on a date, or just passing through to get a taste of the fresh goodness being served up at Dulce Delicia.
The couple, who are well known and loved by the Tonasket community, have overcome many obstacles to get where they are today, including their seventh grade daughter being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis two years ago. Chavez said their daughter’s diagnosis requires a flexible schedule, which includes frequent trips to Spokane for her care and is the main reason they decided to start the business.
“Our daughter was diagnosed with MS, which there is no cure for. She’s one of the only kids here in Washington state with the disease,” said Chavez.
Even though doctors suggested the couple leave and move to a bigger city and possibly to another state, Chavez said they refused to turn their daughter’s life upside down even more with a move and decided to do whatever it took to stay local within the community their family loves and calls their home.
Chavez attended school in Tonasket but moved away for a couple of years then decided she wanted to come home to raise her now seven children.
“My husband and I have worked the past six years together in agriculture work. Previously, I was a worker for Workers Compensation in Florida. When I moved back to Tonasket there weren’t very many options for me, not having the seven kids that I have. I couldn’t just sit behind a desk and commit to a job like that because of needing to take care of my family and especially because of my daughter’s condition,” said Chavez.
Chavez said all of her past jobs and hard work done in those seasons of her life make sense now and she realizes they prepared her for what she and her husband are now doing.
The couple found inspiration while traveling to Seattle for their daughter’s appointments and when coming across different snack shops and juice bars. Family members and friends praised the couple on their fresh, healthy and not too mention delicious treats made for them regularly.
“People would always compliment us on what they said were beautiful parties,” said Chavez. “We always thought Tonasket needs something like this and a lot of people don’t know what these things are.”
All fruit and vegetables served at the sweet shop are cut fresh as customer orders are made. While this requires a longer wait for the customer, Chavez said she wants to offer a gourmet experience and wants customers to have the very best when they come to the shop.
“We’ve already overcome a lot of barriers and everything is going well. Yes, we had a lot of ideas but we didn’t know how we were going to do all of them. Everything just came together. It was just meant to be for us. Never in our wildest dreams did we think we were going to be doing this business. Things have just come together,” said Chavez.
Since their opening day on Feb. 12 they have already established regular customers who come every day or every other day.
“People have been so kind. With what we have gone through, we are in such need of kindness and that’s exactly what we are receiving from the community and it has meant so much to us,” said Chavez.
The freshest fruit and vegetables are cut with each customer order and the experience at Dulce Delicia is much different for many customers who might be used to the fast food experience. However, loyal patrons said every minute spent waiting for their treat is made up in the first bite and they keep coming back for just one more bite or sip.
“It is only my husband and I. It takes a little bit of time for us to be able to offer to our customers the experience we hope to give them,” said Chavez.
Chavez said she knows there are many people in the community who may be just like them and have a lot of ideas they are dreaming about. With a lot of businesses shutting down and suffering, she said hope is needed.
“There is hope, you can do a lot. I want to bring that joy that I remember having growing up in Tonasket,” Chavez said.
Dulce Delicia is at 416 Whitcomb.