Fred Ortega's and Chip Roman's paths constantly crossed in the olden days back at Le Bec-Fin.
Ortega was upstairs as pastry chef and Roman was downstairs in the kitchen as sous chef. But candymaking was their common topic. Roman, who also worked at Vetri, went on to open Blackfish, Mica and Ela. Ortega, who trained in Switzerland during his time at Culinary Institute of America, went on to become executive pastry chef at Lacroix at the Rittenhouse.
Last fall, they set up a candy business, Tradestone Confections, selling Ortega's handmade chocolates online.
Now they've gone with a brick-and-mortar cafe, next door to Blackfish, Roman's Conshohocken BYOB.
Tradestone Cafe (117 Fayette St., Conshohocken), with a tin ceiling and exposed-brick wall, is quite lovely, especially with Ortega's stunning wares in a display case embedded in the front counter.
The cafe also sells La Colombe coffee, pastries and grab-and-go sandwiches, salads and soups.
It's open daily from 7 to 7.