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Netflix’s Sugar Rush winner to host small biz popup shop at ArtHouse

Cupcakes made by Maurice “Chef Blāque” Shelton, the owner of Black Rose Pastries and winner of the Netflix show "Sugar Rush."

The winner of Netflix’s "Sugar Rush" show is staging a holiday pop-up shop for small businesses on Friday evening at ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen on Friday.

Maurice “Chef Blāque” Shelton, the culinary competition winner and a “sugar artist” with Black Rose Pastries and Chef Tasha Tanae will host the “Holiday Taste Shop & Paint Popup” from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the ArtHouse developed by renowned artist Theaster Gates and Bloomberg Philanthropies at 411 E. 5th Ave. in downtown Gary. The pop-up is meant to be a place where people can find one-of-a-kind gifts, sample locally made confections, and also try their hand at painting.

“It’s like a wine and canvas, but without the wine,” Shelton said. “There will be food and desserts that are simply delicious.”

Participating vendors include Black Rose Pastries, Innovative Catering and Sweets, Smallcakes, Sigma Galloway, Kevin Lige-Bey, Kadija's Paint And Sip Session, Sandra Mosley, Designs By The Copper Freak, Emily’s Foods, and Henna By Lola. Black Rose for instance will furnish holiday cupcakes and French-style petit a fours.

“The shopping season is upon us and where else can you find those one-of-a-kind gifts other than shopping in a small business for the holidays,” Shelton said. “We wanted somewhere where people can meet and network and have a good time.”

Attendees also can enjoy live music, win door prizes, and take part in a raffle for a $300 sculpted cake at the end of the night.

“As a small business owner, I wanted to highlight this hidden gem in Gary,” he said. “It’s a pretty building that does a lot of different art programs, whether art or music. I want to continue to highlight this space in the future.”

Entry costs $10, with proceeds going to the ArtHouse. It costs $35 for entry and participation in the two-hour paint session.

“The goal is to put the money back into that communal space,” he said. “It’s not only highlighting all the small business owners we have in this wonderful town and community, but also this communal space.”

The hope is that it will become an annual event.

For more information, visit BlackRosePastries.com.

For tickets, visit Eventbrite.com and search for "Holiday Taste, Shop & Paint" in Gary.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.