SweetArt: Family-Owned Goodness in the Shaw Neighborhood
There are two kinds of art at this family-owned café in Shaw: old-school baking and boldly colorful paintings and illustrations of black children and adults. The baker is Reine Bayoc, who sold sweet treats independently before going into business with her husband, artist Cbabi Bayoc, more than 10 years ago. His visuals exude energy and emotion the same way aromas rise from her cupcakes—and when you put it all together, SweetArt becomes a destination for feeding the hunger of both the stomach and the soul.
If you were to ask 10 customers what their favorite treat was, you’d likely get 15 different responses. Cupcakes top the list, but there are so many flavors that rotate through, including vegan and gluten-free options, that it’s impossible to pick just one.
The fudge vegan brownies are such a runaway hit that the bakery doesn’t even make the regular kind anymore—but even they have competition from the salted caramel pecan bars, the peanut butter cookies, the blueberry crumble pie, the cinnamon rolls … and the list goes on.
The café’s breakfast menu is all vegetarian or vegan—and the lunch menu is all vegan, although it does offer dairy cheese as an option on a few dishes. Many of the options change over time, but a few favorites—like the house-made vegan burger—are always there. The TLC that goes into the food is reflected on the walls, where an assortment of Cbabi Bayoc’s art hangs, feeding customers even after the meal is over.
While you’re in the neighborhood …
Ices Plain & Fancy
Watching the staff make your frozen treat using liquid nitrogen is half the fun. Eating your ice cream, sorbet or boozy milkshake is the other.
2256 S. 39th Street
La Patisserie Chouquette
A sweet wonderland awaits, whether you’re ordering a custom cake, swooning over macarons or relaxing for a seasonal tea party.
1626 Tower Grove Ave
World’s Fair Donuts
There’s nothing fancy about this family-owned shop, which is exactly why customers line up for its apple fritters, long johns and fried pies.
Photography by Carmen Troesser.