Don’t be surprised if the helpful staff at 24 Carrots ask, “Dessert first?” With lots of variety, you can pick from vegan, gluten free and raw treats. Owner and Chef Sasha Raj’s favorite (and a big customer favorite too) is the Antoine Cake, a vegan cake made with chocolate, almonds and coconut topped with a vegan caramel sauce that is excellent all on its own, or especially decadent topped with fresh berries. Also worth a try are the caramel pecan blondies and the raw carrot cake cheesecake.
A self-proclaimed reluctant baker, Raj said she was a “bad baker out of a box” but when a desperate vegan customer came in looking to order her daughter’s birthday cake, that all changed. Having never baked a vegan cake before and with the voice in her head screaming “No!” she said “Yes.”
A cake for 70? Yes. With green frosting? Yes. And flowers? Yes. What about flying butterflies? Sure. Forty hours later, saying “Never again,” Raj created her first vegan cake complete with the flying butterflies. And three years later she is still at it.
Her bakery case has expanded beyond cakes to a constant rotation of sweet options made with the Valley’s seasonal produce, and her values shine through each one.
“People assume if it says ‘vegan’ that it won’t taste good. So here we try our best to make the food look beautiful, appetizing and filling. We spend a lot of time not just on the appearance of the food, but also on the sheer quality of the ingredients that are going in. When someone has eaten, they should feel full. They should feel satiated and that is the real measure. Is it beautiful? Is it delicious? Is it nutritious? If you’ve done those three things then people will come back,” said Raj.
Pleasantly situated on the corner of Chandler Avenue in Tempe, 24 Carrots is open all week long offering juices, smoothies, baked goods, lunch, Sunday brunch and soon, dinner.
By Ashley Betz / Photo by Heather Gill