Sophie La Gourmande and Heights Arts collaborate

Art on the walls—and in the pastry case—surrounds diners at Sophie La Gourmande. [photo: Kim Sergio Inglis]

This year's Heights Arts Holiday Shop has overflowed the nonprofit art space at 2175 Lee Road, extending down the block to 2277 Lee Road—home of Sophie La Gourmande.

"I am all about collaboration," said Bob Sferra, Sophie's owner. "This marks our third sort of large collab in the past six years. The energy and mission of Heights Arts has always been a favorite of mine!  Plus, Rachel Bernstein and her team are so great to work with."

The art installation at Sophie La Gourmande will be on view through the beginning of the new year, until Jan. 17.

Each piece on the gourmet shop's wall is accompanied by a QR code that describes the piece and provides an opportunity to purchase it.

Sophie La Gourmande opened on June 1, in the space formerly occupied by Verne & Ellsworth Hann Inc.

"The building was purchased in 2019," said Sferra, "Build out plans, engineering and architectural work were completed in mid-2020 with a great deal of labor and input from my culinary team, and finally construction began in February 2021."

Sferra's prior collaborations with Heights Arts pre-date the opening of Sophie, and involved his catering business, Culinary Occasions, which has provided full-service catering for 15 years.

"The plan for the business evolved when I decided to place greater emphasis on the baking and pastry program, and to increase our catering business opportunities with a larger kitchen, while also introducing a new and unique café setting," Sferra explained.

And Sophie, the shop's namesake? "Sophie was the name of the yellow Labrador retriever puppy my husband gave me as a Valentine’s Day gift," Sferra said. "She was a beautiful, elegant and athletic pup with so much spunk and zeal for everyday adventures. Sophie made you feel happy, loved and embraced. She lived to be 18! I named the patisserie-café in honor of Sophie’s exuberance and joy, as a constant reminder to enjoy a happy, healthy life.

"We are here to bring a joyful taste experience; thus, 'your daily dose of joie de vivre' is our tagline."

Kim Sergio Inglis

Kim Sergio Inglis is editor-in-chief of the Heights Observer, and is a Cuyahoga County master gardener volunteer.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 10:16 AM, 11.22.2022