ART OF THE DREAM: Christina & Patrick Cleary

By Ben Schooley

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Christina Cleary and her husband Patrick have quickly made an impact in Boerne. Owners of Salty & Sweet, the extremely popular old-fashioned candy/popcorn store, the couple fell right into the opportunity of a lifetime as the large space next door to their business became available. Since then, the couple has been more than busy.


 

Newer transplants to Boerne since 2012, the couple jumped right into establishing a footprint in town. Christina begins, “We’re from Philadelphia and Patrick had a job transfer in 2012 which brought us here. Patrick always wanted to open a sweet store since he was a kid, so when the opportunity came up, he just jumped on it and we opened Salty & Sweet. He could finally pursue his childhood dream. I was a stay at home mom, and he wanted a better family environment.”


The business quickly took off and grew quite popular, but as many experienced, COVID put a dent in their revenues, however, they were able to push through. She continues, “We were open the whole time through COVID, doing curbside and deliveries…it was our 1st year and we didn’t really know what we’d do, but we just went as best we could. We had a great force behind us just as people knew we were a family owned operation and they supported that.”

With business stabilized, the couple began to look to expand their footprint. “We wanted to do a restaurant somewhere in town. When the spot opened up (Soda Pops old location), we knew it was our perfect opportunity. After COVID we got the lease, but then went on hold for a good while. Construction began approximately in November of ’20. We went from having 2 different buildings to connecting them together. The food hasn’t changed and the concept of the restaurant hasn’t changed but the layout certainly has. We put the 2 buildings together as it put us so much more space – we wanted to have more people able to come and enjoy.”

A concept that the couple have put considerable thought into, Boerne will have a new and unique new offering. She explains, “It’s an American menu. We’re going to bring some of our Philadelphia touches on things with cheese steaks, hoagies, subs, pretzels. Burgers, fries, chicken tenders, hot dogs. Great kid’s menu as well. And we really wanted it to be affordable for families. That is important for us to maintain a very family friendly environment.”


Slated for a “late August but probably sometime in September” opening, the couple is learning things as fast as they can. “We hired a consultant which is helping us learn – I’ve learned a lot – that it takes a lot of work, a lot of family, and getting everything together. The consultant we’ve hired is phenomenal, so he’s given us a good education.”
While working feverishly to get the business off the ground, the couple is also looking forward to the entire environment they want to create. “The family feeling of the restaurant is what I’m looking forward to. The whole vibe is to bring people together, and we hope to cultivate that. Block parties are coming – hot rod nights are coming – so much is coming. The community has been great to support us. I think we’re going to have a family / friends soft opening, and we support the special needs community and we’d like them involved.”
With excitement in their eyes, the family is excited to expand their involvement. Christine finishes, “We’re excited to bring a new venture to town, a new family, and to be even deeper connected locally”.