Sugar Mama Cafe might be brand new to Downtown Anacortes, but Owners Natalie and Wendy Clark are aiming to create a welcoming atmosphere that feels like coming home.

I sat down with Natalie at Sugar Mama to chat about her hopes for the cafe and try selections from their multifaceted menu. Wendy was in the kitchen that day, and the whole team helped make the visit fantastic. As we started chatting I was sipping a chilled glass of the House of Brown Red Blend ($12 per glass), and the juicy and spiced flavor paired well with much of the food to come.

The Clarks moved to the area from Texas about two years ago, partially because Orcas Island is one of Wendy’s favorite places. Anacortes was perfect to raise their young son, and they dove right into the community when they arrived.

“I was like, we’re jumping in with both feet,” says Natalie, who is the board chair for Anacortes Pride and very involved in community organizations. “I have made some lifelong friends since I moved here … we really found our people.”

This cozy feeling is clear in how Sugar Mama aims to make every visitor feel welcomed. The Clarks renovated their large location just off Commercial Avenue to have an accessible outdoor deck, a green fenced in yard with lawn games, and a spacious interior.

“I wanted a place where people can come and spend time with people they want to spend time with. I wanted a place that didn’t feel rushed,” Natalie says. “We wanted to make sure that when people looked around they could see something that represented them, whoever they happened to be.”

First food to the table were shareable savory plates, which we snacked on together. The Hummus Feast ($21) comes with fluffy house-made hummus, warm pita, and various fresh vegetables to dip. I also loved their Bloody Mary Deviled Eggs ($16), which are dipped in Old Bay seasoning and topped with pickled green beans, and their refreshing Tea Sandwiches ($15).

The heartier plates came out next, and they’re as flavorful as they are filling. The Grilled Cheese ($14) is perfectly buttered and toasted, and every bite of melted gouda, cheddar, and Jarlsberg cheese is accompanied by sweet and spicy homemade tomato jam. The Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms ($15) are Wendy’s grandmothers’ recipe, and have a homey biscuits-and-gravy flavor with a high-end presentation.

But that’s only the savory half of the menu! Sugar Mama is also inspired by wine and dessert bars, and has just as varied a selection of sweets. Natalie’s favorite is the Raspberry Cream Cake ($13), because it’s a unique “punch of raspberry” that harkens to the North Sound summertime berry boom. Their decadently fudgey Chocolate Cake ($12) and elegant Lemon Cheesecake ($12) are also nothing to sneeze at. But my favorite desserts featured Natalie’s favored ingredient: brown butter.

The Cookies ($4) are freshly baked, crafted with love, and have that brown butter flavor in every bite, but the Salted
Caramel Butter Crumble ($12) was an out-of-this-world experience. It’s made of from-scratch caramel and a shortbread-like crumb cake, and served warm with a whopping scoop of Lopez Island Creamery Sweet Cream ice cream.

All of these delicious foods are complimented by a fine selection of wines, fantastical teas, and Moka Joe Coffee and espresso. Not up for a large dessert? The Affogato ($8), espresso over ice cream, is the perfect post-meal pick-me-up.

There’s way more to the menu and Sugar Mama’s community minded principles than I can share here, so make it your next destination and experience their warm welcome yourself!