Vegan bakery Sticky Fingers, a Columbia Heights staple run by Food Network competitor Doron Petersan, has a new online store that offers to ship its sweet treats to customers all over the country. As part of a shift towards e-commerce, Petersan says she plans to shut down her shop in Park Road NW in the coming months and is changing the name of sister spot Fare Well to Sticky Fingers Diner.
Sicky Fingers launched its revamped website Tuesday, September 21, offering items like its Cowvin Cookies (vanilla cream-filled oatmeal cookie sandwiches) and Fudgetastic Brownies that are made with Barry Callebaut dark chocolate and Ceremony Coffee Roasters coffee. Customers can also order mixes for cookies, cake, and pancakes, along with decorating kits for brownies, cupcakes, and cookie sandwiches. Cookie subscriptions cover three months.
Sticky Fingers previously had a smaller mail-order program available, but Petersan is growing the infrastructure for packing and shipping. The bakery is working to expand its wholesale operations nationally as well. Grocers across the region already carry some of its products.
Petersan, who founded Sticky Fingers in 1999, says the bakery has built a national following over two decades. She won Food Network’s Cupcake Wars two times and has published a cookbook. Customers who have moved away often ask her to open a location near them, she says. Shifting her focus to digital retail will help her grow the business.
“It’s a matter of finding a way into that, basically, vegan cookie superhighway through the United States,” says Petersan. “That’s really how I see it. There are all these little opportunities to reach people who are interested but might not have access.”
Petersan also notes that the growing challenges of running a physical retail space motivated her to shift gears. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted her to expedite those efforts.
Starting Tuesday, Sticky Fingers will stop serving savory items in Columbia Heights, offering only sweets. Customers can still find those items on H Street NE at Fare Well, which will become Sticky Fingers Diner, with slight menu changes.
Petersan says she has found a new space to house operations, and expects to close the current retail shop in coming months, though there is no firm date set. There are no layoffs planned, and Sticky Fingers will actually add more positions.
“The goal is to stay close so that we keep all of the people that make Sticky Fingers what it is, and that’s definitely the people who are doing the work,” she says.
While the bakery will continue to serve its D.C. customers, the expansion targets Petersan’s core goal to make vegan food available to as many people as possible.
“That’s basically the mission in a nutshell,” she says. “Make good stuff, make it available, spread it far and wide.”