The Original, The Party Girl, and Brothers Not Lovers
"Sweet" is hardly the first word that comes to mind when talking about the Tenderloin. But for the past three years, David Williams has been changing all of that, one sweet treat at a time.
Healthcare professional turned graphic designer by trade (because that's a normal progression), David fell victim to the economic downturn in 2008. Looking for that next step, he, "simply had a craving for caramels," and four months home experimentation led him to develop some killer recipes he felt proud to share. When his two close friends started The Perish Trust, David's first opportunity to showcase his new creations presented itself at the opening party.
People clamored for the candies, asking where they could buy more, and David thought more seriously about opening a spot of his own. Having lived in the Tenderloin for a spell, he watched a "For Rent" sign hang for more than five months before he contacted the landlord, who loved his concept, and pulled the trigger.
David "Hooker" Williams Turning This...
At any given time, David has about four different caramels, each of which has a fun little tounge-and-cheek story behind it. The "Party Girl" is named for both an old painting of a woman he found and restored as well as for a friend in Reno who sends along party mix every Christmas. Studded with toasted pecans, coconut, corn and oat cereal and pretzel bits, this caramel sits atop a smoked sea-salted dark chocolate base for the best-of-both-worlds sweet and salty combo. The Brothers Not Lovers caramel is an ode to his close friends and Sightglass Coffee'
s Justin and Jerad Morrison, who were often confused as a couple instead of siblings, and contains the company's Owl's Howl infused inside. As for the 3rd Nut Caramel, David just had trouble deciding on the third nut to use.
Bread pudding is always on the menu, and was a no-brainer as an homage to his New Orleans roots. Still using his mothers secret recipe, he tweaks the flavors based on the season. When nothing is really shining, he falls back on his staples like banana salted caramel or bourbon chocolate chip, served warm from the oven, and smothered with a rich sauce and loaded with nuts.
A Smörgåsbord of Sweets, Including Strawberry Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding
As for the name? It has absolutely nothing to do with the Tenderloin tenants - that part was just a (somewhat happy?) accident. David's nickname is Hooker, which evolved, oddly enough, because he used to call his friends hookers when shooting pool. Thus, he became "Hooker Dave," until people just dropped his real name.
I won't try and sugarcoat it - the TL is still somewhat sketchy with its share of crazies. In fact, while chatting with Hook, there was a man doing his version of parkour (a.k.a. - jumping and spinning from the street to the curb...continuously). But Hooker makes a great point by virtue of his success - when things seem at their worst, remember that we each have the power to actively make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of those around us by following our passions. They radiate onto others, and can turn even the most uncertain futures (or neighborhoods) into something special.
Trust me, brave the 'hood during daylight hours, snag a sweet treat, and get "hooked" on these mind-blowing caramels.
After all, there are certainly worse addictions to have in the Tenderloin.