Girl Power At Bittersweet Treats

When I was invited to a tasting event at Bittersweet Treats in Pasadena, I was expecting to have a pleasant evening tasting some decadent nibbly things, socializing with a few blogger friends and enjoying a rare night out on a Monday but I got even more than I expected, I got inspired: Bittersweet Treats is a women owned and operated establishment.


As a woman about to embark on my own business, a simple night out became a source of motivation – owner Linda Chen is a dynamo.  You’d think the yoga enthusiast and mother of 3, might be cranky with a her commute from the beach community to the Pasadena area but her passion for food, decor and the experience at Bittersweet Treats shines through the minute you meet her.   Linda’s desire to make the warm, modern but retro feeling bakery/cafe part of the community is admirable.  She has even given her personal cell phone to customers to contact her when they want to know the availability of their favorite menu items.


Bittersweet, bakery, cafe, dessert, Linda Chen

Bittersweet may have made recent news due to the departure of a high profile pastry chef but the establishment is in more than capable hands with current General Manager and Head Baker, Ali Anderson.

Ali Anderson, Bittersweet Treats

GM and Head Baker at Bittersweet Treats, Ali Anderson

While I hadn’t visited Bittersweet before, Anderson’s love for brown butter and savory items  is evident and absolutely delicious.  I’m not a bacon fan but I needed something savory (to balance all of the sweets I tasted) and the bacon, cheese and pepper scone might have lured me one step closer to the bacon dark side.  The two other bakers associated with Bittersweet are also femaleRobyn Smith, who specializes in gluten-free items and Paige (whose last name I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t catch) from Angel Cake Pops were personable, dedicated and had culinary talent.
At a time while I’m ramping up to launch a nutrition private practice, I was thrilled to find a little “Independent Woman” business motivation while I stuffed my face with delectable goodies including truffles, cookies, cakes, confections (including gluten-free items) and homemade ice cream.
Bittersweet Treats, Pasadena, Goat Cheese Tart, figs

The standouts for me were the Lavender Truffle (very Vosges-like), the Goat Cheese Tart topped with Figs and what Bittersweet called the “Man” Scone described above.  One of the other fantastic offerings at Bittersweet is their own special blend of LAMILL Coffee.
This uniquely strong coffee was astoundingly good!  I couldn’t get over how the nuances of the coffee were further enhanced by some of the sweeter treats.  A LAMILL with Bittersweet Treat is a combination not to be missed.  I can’t wait to take my coffee adoring husband to this place!
Bittersweet Treats is more than your average bakery/cafe.  They host themed events like Ice Cream Socials and weekly Throwback Thursdays (when old-school treats like Twinkies and Ding Dongs are featured) and Test Kitchen Fridays (when newly developed items are given a debut).  If themes aren’t your bag, they also offer a daily Happy Hour from 4-5pm where items are discounted.


Bittersweet Treats, Pasadena

Wall at Bittersweet Treats

The future looks bright for Bittersweet - they have plans to not only expand the specialty menu items to include more savory choices and paleo-friendly treats but also to offer cooking classes for children and adults.  If the quality of food, service and passion continues for the foreseeable future, I’m certain Bittersweet will become an anchor of modern kitschy treat food in East Pasadena.


Bittersweet Treats, ice cream

Yup, all the ice cream is homemade

My Valentine’s birthday is coming up soon and I just might find myself at Bittersweet Treats in the near future not only to use their free WiFi but to soak up some more inspiration, motivation and sustenance (read: ideas for a future birthday cake/cupcake/truffle etc.) while I gear up to launch my own Girl Powered business.
Bittersweet Treats is located at 1731 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91106, for hours and more go to or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  You’ll have to ask Linda for her cell phone number yourself. ;)
Disclaimer:  I was invited to a tasting at Bittersweet Treats but was under no obligation to write this post.  All opinions are purely my own. 

About Melissa Burton

I’m Melissa Burton, a recent transplant from Brooklyn, New York to Southern California. By profession, I’m a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. In my actual life I’ve been a million things ...

19 Responses to Girl Power At Bittersweet Treats

  1. Susie

    YOU ate BACON? That must mean the zombie apocalypse has begun! This place sounds so good! Especially that goat cheese tart . . . mmm. Must check it out on my TBD trip! :)

    • Melissa Burton

      Susie: You would love this place. You name the date you visit and we’re in!

  2. Allie Burdick

    Just another reason I wish I could move back to LA! Holy YUM and tons of inspiration for you. I just love it when you come across empowered women. Thanks for sharing here…I’m feeling better already :-)
    Allie Burdick recently posted…Out SickMy Profile

    • Melissa Burton

      Allie: I hear you’re under the weather (I’m going to travel over to your blog to comment as well) and hope you’re better sooon. I may get the chance to bring you some of these empowered women filled delicious goodies in person sometime soon…I’ll lyk as things develop.

  3. AlexandraFunFit

    My fave was the passion fruit jellies. I loved the Earl Grey, and coffee cardamon ice creams. So many inventive items at Bittersweet!
    AlexandraFunFit recently posted…Should You Burn Your Bread (not Your Bra) to Lose Belly Fat?My Profile

    • Melissa Burton

      I forgot to slip one of those jellies into my to-go box but I’ll have to try them sometime soon. Good to see you and meet your son!

  4. FitBritt@MyOwnBalance

    Mmmm this sounds so good. The Lavender Truffle and Goat Cheese Tart topped with Figs sound like they would be some of my favorites too!
    FitBritt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Fit Tips to Jumpstart January!My Profile

  5. Running Hutch

    I absolutely want to go there now! We used to go to Pasadena ALL THE TIME when we lived inland. Perhaps I ought to plan a trip out there to include a visit to Bittersweet!
    Running Hutch recently posted…Running in the BibleMy Profile

    • Melissa Burton

      LMK whenever you want to make a journey back inland. I’ll meet you there any time!

  6. Cafe Pasadena

    We guys (ie, our tastebuds & stomachs) appreciate all the girl power in attendance that night.
    Cafe Pasadena recently posted…Yesterday & Today: A Pasadena Christmas.My Profile

    • Melissa Burton

      Thanks Mike for the comment love and the girl power support! It was nice to see you there on Monday.

  7. Galit Breen

    Oh how I love this experience that you had and the title you gave it!

    There’s so much inspiration in the women we meet, isn’t it? I love that the way you tick ensures you see this!
    Galit Breen recently posted…Listening EarsMy Profile

    • Melissa Burton

      Thank you Galit! What a great compliment. As I get closer and closer to finalizing my women’s health nutrition practice, I’m finding lots of inspiration and excitement about serving the sisterhood. I’ve always been a guy’s girl so this is transforming for me too!

  8. Chris

    Love this! I’m sorry I missed out on the event, but you made me take a detour today after my appointment, and I went to Bittersweet Treats for a treat! #NOM
    Chris recently posted…Absinthe Las Vegas – Get Your Pasties in a Twist #runawaytovegasMy Profile

    • Melissa Burton

      You were missed my friend but I’m glad you went and checked it out! LMK when your life calms down and we can hang out. Any thoughts on doing the Chinatown Firecracker run?

  9. Pingback: Friday Five 1.17.14: California Edition - Earthquake, Fire, McConafug, Leto -

  10. John

    This is obviously a carefully crafted PR piece! The true talent of Bittersweet left in 2013 and her reasons were simple – an ineffective and unprofessional business partner. I have seen how the owner interacts with customers and never went back after that (she basically IGNORED customers).

    • Melissa Burton

      John: This was not a crafted PR piece. I was invited for a blogger event but all opinions expressed were clearly my own. I’m sure the last person involved at Bittersweet was incredibly talented (actually, I know she was as I’ve sampled her wares at the restaurant she has a relationship with). I’m sorry your experience with the owner was an unpleasant one but mine was absolutely not.

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