Dig in to some Sandy Buns on 31st

(Featured Image): Sandy Buns’ classic roll with vegan cream cheese frosting is one of the many recipes of the Houghton’s.

Mel Lhuillier|Marlin Chronicle
5 out of 5 buns for flavor and family dedication.

Located right in the heart of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront on 31st Street is a brand new sweet spot so delightfully named Sandy Buns. Sandy Buns, a cute play on words, offers a new way to treat yourself healthily. From decadent Cinnamon buns with the most perfect amount of sweet to their new signature “Swirlwhiches,” Sandy Buns has created new ways to give into your sweet tooth. 

Siblings Scott and Kristen Houghton conceived the family owned bakery at the oceanfront based on their mom’s, Theresa Houghton, delicious homemade cinnamon rolls. 

The small local business differentiates itself from a typical sweet shop by offering mostly vegan products. “We wanted to appease all walks of people … lifestyles and journeys, for fitness and health,” said Kristen who is vegan herself. 

Their number one signature item is a healthy twist on the classic cinnamon bun. The $5 “Classic” as they call it is a large freshly baked bun rolled with their secret cinnamon mixture that is then baked to perfection and topped with vegan cream cheese frosting. “It is the softest, fluffiest dough we spent months testing and creating,” Theresa Houghton said. 

For an extra $2 you have the option to “Make it Sandy!” and build your own bun. This includes a wide variety of spreads, toppings and drizzles. From raspberry curd to bacon bits, strawberries, honey and peanut butter sauce the options satisfy the need for sweet or savory. 

The other tantalizing menu option is their signature savory Swirlwhiches. If you are looking for something a bit more filling, they offer pesto infused, sundried tomato and italian herb sandwich bread that you can fill with your choice of select deli meats and cheeses. Swirlwhich bread, as they have coined it, is similar in concept to a cinnamon bun as they take typical tasty ingredients and swirl them into the dough. 

They have also created a “Sweet Heat” sauce for those looking to spice up their palettes. “I wanted to create a different kind of sandwich that my taste buds dreamed of eating. Hoagies and subs are overrated,” Scott said. 

Other products they offer that are more of a grab and go style are the enticing “Cinnaminis,” smaller versions of the signature classic, and their most recent invention “Sandy Chicks.” Sandy Chicks are chickpeas that are roasted in house and tossed in Everything Bagel or Peach Bourbon seasoning. They are prepackaged and available in two sizes for those on the go. 

As hard as starting a new business can be, Sandy Buns believes they truly set themselves apart from the rest of the bakery community not only with their vegan products but with their long term experience as a family owned business. 

Head baker Theresa Houghton has an extensive history of being a pastry chef and employed her children Scott and Kristen at a young age to work at their family food truck selling different fried dough products. They would travel to different spots and Scott and Kristen became familiar with the process of owning and operating a small business. “I always felt comfortable with dough and I feel I understand it,” Kristen Houghton said. 

These childhood experiences have made Scott and Kristen what they feel to be the perfect team. “My brother and I wanted to start some sort of business concept” said Kristen and being familiar with dough, creating Sandy Buns and their signature rolls felt like second nature. With the help of their mom’s decadent recipes and their own dreams and concepts Sandy Buns was born. 

Opening back in the middle of July, business has been slow, but they are hoping for so much more as they embark on new community outreach. “We have some things in the works,” says Kristen Houghton. 

They are currently working with the non-profit organization Pandas Fight Against Cancer. Pandas Fight Against Cancer is a local Hampton Roads nonprofit that benefits people in the area battling with cancer by helping with hospital bills, running toy drives during Christmas, and even back to school supply donation drives. 

They have come together to develop a unique t-shirt design and plan on giving a certain percentage of their sales from National Cinnamon Bun Day, Oct. 4, to the local non-profit. If you are looking to help them in their fundraising efforts, they invite customers to come out on Oct. 4 as they are offering free Cinnaminis if you like and follow their Instagram and Facebook pages. This in turn helps both local entrepreneurs and you even get to taste the flavorful fun that is Sandy Buns.

by Kylea Mccarel