PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
RAY AND PATTY CLARK are celebrating 20 years of business this year at Sweetie Pie's in downtown Placerville. The breakfast and lunch eatery is a favorite with locals who populate the tables inside and out, seven days a week. Democrat photo by Krysten Kellum

RAY AND PATTY CLARK are celebrating 20 years of business this year at Sweetie Pie's in downtown Placerville. The breakfast and lunch eatery is a favorite with locals who populate the tables inside and out, seven days a week. Democrat photo by Krysten Kellum

Secrets of Success 2011

Sweet times on Main Street

By From page D7 | January 06, 2012

The only thing sweeter than the delectable items on the menu at Sweetie Pie’s on Main Street in Placerville is the relationship between owners Ron and Patty Clark, who after 29 years of marriage still emit that spark that observers readily spot.

“Get Ron in the photo,” said Patty, 60. “He’s the one who’s photogenic, not me.”

“Of course you are, honey,” replied Ron, 69, as he wrapped an arm around his wife’s shoulder as the pair posed for the Mountain Democrat on a sunny Monday morning with a steady stream of customers in the background.

It’s no wonder the breakfast and lunch diner just celebrated its 20th anniversary on Nov. 8, as a bright bouquet of congratulatory flowers on the main counter attests. The dynamic between the Clarks is that of stability and success.

And then there’s the food.

Twenty-six-year-old Jacquelyn Kosic had a satisfied smile on her face as she left the small country cottage-looking Sweetie Pie’s building.

“I’ve been coming here for 10 or 12 years now, and the food’s just delicious,” Kosic said as her companion nodded his head in agreement. “I always order more than I can eat, and I like to pick off other people’s plates,” she said, glancing at her pal’s knowing smile. “I’ve never had a bad meal here.”

Others who have found their way to the restaurant, which sits behind a distinctive pie sign with lettering punctuated with bright red hearts would agree with Kosic’s assessment.

The place was jammed with chattering customers on a recent Monday, a crowd that sat at rustic tables in soft lighting, enjoying a breakfast selection that includes an impressive listing of omelets, scrambles, biscuits-and-gravy and blintzes. The pancake, waffle and French toast selections make the mouth water just reading them, and if you’ve ever had one of their healthnut pancakes slathered with lots of butter and syrup, then you know why you keep coming back.

Just ask Janis Bailey of Paso Robles, who comes up to Placerville once a year to visit her sister.

“The food here is so good,” said Bailey, 65. “My favorite is the French toast. I come here every time I visit.”

Once their appetite has been satiated, customers make their way to the counter to pay the bill — only to be tempted once again by an array of freshly baked muffins, cinnamon rolls, pies and cookies. (After all, it is called Sweetie Pie’s.) At the counter, you’ll find plenty of friendly faces, including that of the Clarks’ “adopted kid,” Emily Martin, 24.

“I’m family, no question about it,” said the cashier, who has been working for the Clarks since she was 16.

Asked about the secret for the restaurant’s success, Ron said simply, “Give the customers what they want. If you produce the food they like, they keep coming back.”

The charming cottage that is Sweetie Pie’s, located at 577 Main St. in Placerville, features soft floral wallpaper that is a perfect complement to the dark wooden setting inside. Outside, weather permitting, a scattering of tables allows customers to people-watch and enjoy the sunshine as they sample the restaurants’ fare.

In addition to the boffo breakfast offerings, the lunch menu has classic sandwiches and melts, salads and side treats. You can also concoct your own sandwich from the fresh ingredients available.

Sweetie Pie’s is open from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday (sorry, no lunch on Sunday). Call 530-642-0128.

Pat Lakey

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