There’s a new ghost kitchen in town with a memorable mascot. Fart Cat Candy Store — the brainchild of 7-year-old Ansel Moffitt — has been serving up homemade caramels and other packaged sweet treats for Seattleites for months during the pandemic, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Moffitt’s mom, Sarah Myhre, is helping run the business on the managerial side, and their stepdad (a chef at Capitol Hill restaurant Cook Weaver) is involved in the recipe creations.
Myhre tells Eater Seattle her kid had the idea to set up a virtual candy store early when COVID-19 first hit the area as a fun project to pass the time, and the name was inspired by a sketch Moffitt did in 2019 of, well, a cat that farts, naturally (“It’s a joke that keeps on giving,” Myhre says). The family went to work on some recipe testing with baked goods and marshmallows, took orders online, and put together some Halloween packages with vintage candies to sell this fall. Fart Cat’s new holiday boxes include tahini cookies, chocolate brownie cookies, apple leather, and nut brittle, but its specialty are caramels with the just the right amount of chewiness. The concoction was a team effort and has proven to be a hot commodity — limited batches have sold quickly, with customers finding the treats via Twitter or through family, friends, and restaurant staff word of mouth.
Fart Cat may be small, but it’s a smoothly run operation. Reynolds — a veteran of the Seattle restaurant scene — helped Moffitt set up an LLC (Fart Cat pays quarterly taxes), giving them some lessons in food business basics. Myhre says it has also offered Moffitt lots of opportunities to practice different skills (reading, writing, cooking, website development, etc.) that they’ve had a hard time getting from remote school in 2020 — “and we know teachers are doing their very best,” Myhre says. Though the family hasn’t made a lot of money on orders, the revenue has been enough to give to organizations and causes they support, such as FareStart, which fights food insecurity and offers hospitality job training to people struggling with poverty, addiction, homelessness, or a criminal record.
Moffitt is heavily involved in the production, although — due to their young age — they’re careful around the kitchen, both at home and at Cook Weaver, where some of the treats are made. As it stands now, Fart Cat is prepping for an influx of holiday orders, and sells branded merch with Moffitt’s original artwork of the titular feline. “The whimsy and gleefulness of this stuff is like an antidote to this horrible moment of crisis and loss we’re living through, and I hope that it gives my kid a grounded experience that creating joy, meaning, and connection is a lifeline during really hard times.” says Myhre.
- Fart Cat Candy Store [Official]