How Sweet It Is


A local caterer has struck gold with her gourmet bar cookies.

Valerie Cleland began making Miss V’s Dessert Bars in 2016. A spin on the classic seven-layer bar, Miss V’s were so addictive that people started calling them “crack bars.” After a friend gave samples to somebody at Williams Sonoma, the retailer signed Cleland to sell her bars online and through its catalog. She quickly became one of the company’s top-rated sellers.

Cleland had been making the bars for years before Williams Sonoma came calling. “The recipes have been in my head forever,” explains the Rocklin resident, who owns Aubergine Catering. The bars come in more than 20 flavors, including s’more, apricot almond, peanut butter, Key lime and dark chocolate toffee, as well as seasonal varieties such as apple pie, cranberry pecan and candy cane. (A gluten-free line is set to launch soon.) Williams Sonoma sells a dozen bars for $39.95.

Cleland now has customers in every state except Alaska and Hawaii. “Williams Sonoma is putting us on the map at a national level,” says Cleland, who also sells her bars locally at Tiferet Coffee House in East Sacramento and Gypsy Chic Vintage Market in Lincoln.

Valerie Cleland