About Us- Our Mission- Our Story
Welcome to the The Bittersweet Shoppe on Newbury, an old fashioned soda fountain and gourmet coffee cafe. Thank you for checking us out! We’re so excited to be expanding our brand and launching our first brick and mortar on one of the most enchanting streets in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. With our charming, vintage-modern atmosphere and sun drenched outdoor patio, it is our desire to give you a place to feel welcomed, comfortable, inspired, and happy! We hope we've created a memorable experience while leaving a lasting impression. Please join us often and we'd love it if you spread the joy and the love!
We believe that Life is Bittersweet so it became our mission to help you enjoy life's sweetness...
Coffee, Good Food, Friendships, Conversation, Your Neighborhood Cafe, Community, Ice Cream, Family, Faith, Fun, Connection, The Comforts of Home, Reminiscing, Old Fashioned Nostalgia, Popcorn, Fresh Squeezed Lemonade, Flowers, The Outdoors, A Taste of the Seasons, Creativity, Inspiration, Celebrating Moments, Life's Simple Pleasures, Picnics, Supporting Local, Buying Handmade and Making Sweet Memories!
The Bittersweet Journey
"Life is bittersweet... Become better not bitter and enjoy life's sweetness"
Hi there!! My name is Tracy Casavant, Owner and Creator of the Bittersweet Shoppe on Newbury. Thanks for taking a minute to check us out and learn a little more about our story...
We’ve all heard the expression “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” right? Well, it was just a few years ago that I took that statement literally...
See, at one point it felt like life had delivered me a TRUCK LOAD of lemons...
I was ...
• Overwhelmed w/grief
• Felt alone, betrayed &
• Embarrassed & felt over
• Financially unstable
Long Story Short...
• I’ve lost 2 children- my first son Ty & then years later my daughter Quinn.
• I was on complete bed rest for over 2 months and despite laying on my back for 10 weeks my son Tanner was born 3 months premature weighing only 3 lbs. 2oz - he spent 82 days in the hospital neonatal intensive care unit.
• I was in an unhealthy relationship
• Lost my first home to foreclosure
• Filed bankruptcy
• Became a single mom
• Was barely making ends meet living pay check to paycheck (well actually shift to shift as a bartender/waitress)
BUT... thankfully 🙏🏻
• Encouraged by my faith
• Fueled by my passion for personal growth and development
I was determined to become Better not Bitter and Enjoy Life's Sweetness!
While studying online to become a certified health coach my eyes were open to buying and supporting local.
It was at that time that my 10 year old son and I realized he could sell our homemade dog treats at our local farmers market. At one particular market I saw a woman selling lemonade and her business was called When Life Gives You Lemons… That’s when the light bulb went off💡... Life had given ME lemons and I was going to make lemonade! 🍋
With over 25+ years experience in the service/hospitality industry it was a natural fit for me. I got my residential kitchen license and started Bittersweet Homestead in August 2016.
Fast forward 3 years and I had 4 complete market set ups, 3 lemonade carts, 2 vans, a truck, a trailer and lots of determination. We could be found at multiple farmers markets, street fairs, festivals and a pop up at the Boston City Hall plaza 7 day’s a week. Last year we squeezed over 25,000 lemonades! I’m proud to say it’s been a sweet success!!
I then purchased an adorable food truck for private events (make sure you check it out, it’s SO cute) and to give me something to do in the winter, I had a s’mores shack built and found a home for it at our local ski resort. I have to admit it’s been a fun, creative, homemade adventure!!
It was exciting to see one of our stands photographed in Yankee magazine. I've definitely enjoyed working with family and friends and I'm happy to help others make a few extra dollars. Then proudly in honor of my children, we gathered a team together and raised money for the March of Dimes March For Babies event (which supports families, moms and babies born sick or too soon). Team Bittersweet looks forward to supporting this and other great causes in the future.
And now, welcome to season 4, where I had big dreams and aspirations, yet things have not gone according to plan. The Bittersweet Shoppe on Newbury opened mid 2020, right in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic during lots of political and social unrest. Who would've thought?
It was October 2019 and I had another idea brewing. I wanted to build our brand and expand our offerings. I didn’t know exactly what it was going to look like but I knew it would include sharing all the things I love... the best fresh squeezed lemonade (obviously), popcorn, coffee, ice cream floats, picnics, comfort food, fun food, supporting local, inspiring others, building community and lifelong friendships, sharing my faith and love for nostalgia, decorating for the seasons, enjoying the comforts of home etc... I believed I could make it work so I took the risk, invested my cash savings and decided to just go for it. No one could have predicted what we were getting ready to face...
Despite the delayed opening, financial hurdles and the season not going according to plan (having to quarantine, travel bans, businesses shut down, capacity restrictions, lack of tourists & college students, zero events for our lemonade season, riots, looting, having to board up right after our soft opening, getting robbed within my first month etc...) I've realized I must be made for days like these... I already know what its like having to persist and adapt, to be innovative and resilient. I’m no stranger to Loss, Emotional turmoil, Money issues, Obstacles, Negativity and Setbacks. Those were the LEMONS I've already dealt with... So you know, as they say... When life gives you lemons... Create a lemonade challenge? A lemonade movement? Oh my, so many ideas!!!
My dreams are big, the vision is large, one that will hopefully impact many. I envision growing The Bittersweet Company as a purpose driven hospitality business. One that adds value to others by creating memorable products and experiences all the while inspiring, encouraging and empowering people to keep the faith, never give up and enjoy life’s sweetness!
But enough about me, I want to know more about you. Did you enjoy your experience at the Bittersweet Shoppe? Do you have any suggestions or feedback? How are you doing? Did 2020 give you lemons? Are the changes or circumstances you're currently facing bitter or sweet? Let’s connect!
I would love it if you joined me on the Bittersweet journey. Subscribe to our email list. It’s Lemonade Time!
Remember Life is Bittersweet- we get to choose if we become better or bitter and enjoy the sweetness!
(honorable mentions and photos below)
A look back
I wouldn’t feel right not giving a shout out and a BIG THANK YOU to those who have contributed tremendously to this amazing business endeavor.
I could NEVER have done it alone and I am SO grateful to those who have come along side me and made this journey possible.
First and foremost to my Heavenly Father and Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for His unfailing love, mercy, forgiveness, and saving grace.
To my miracle son Tanner who gave me reason to fight the good fight.
To my parents who have been there every step of the way with continuous praise and encouragement. For my mom who has worked tirelessly alongside me and for my father who has been an amazing helpful grandpa. And also to my youngest brother for being such a great uncle, helping me out when needed and spending lots of quality time with his nephew. It really does take a village, even with one child and I am forever grateful for my support system!
To my very talented older brother who has been the master craftsman behind the scenes making all our lemonade stands and the furniture/soda fountain bar that you see in the shoppe.
To my fiancé who has been supportive and patient with me through all this craziness.
To my sisters and nieces and all my friends and friends daughters who have come along and joined Team Bittersweet... you’re all awesome!!! And last but not least to ALL of our customers and raving fans, you have made the challenges and tough moments of building a business worth it!! Your compliments, your reviews, all the pictures you take, the feedback, they give me reason to push forward on the days when I think it would be easier to quit, so THANK YOU!!! So much love and gratitude!!!