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SweetArt is a from-scratch bakery specializing in traditional, vegan and gluten-free American baked goods. The cafe also serves a plant-based breakfast and lunch menu that has a loyal following of meat eaters.
For Bayoc, food has always been a passion. You could find her scrolling through the Food Network website during her lunch breaks and spending time in the kitchen baking after work, as a way to decompress from a busy day.
As a mom of three, Bayoc always baked cakes from-scratch for their birthdays. Her middle child has asthma and would get flare ups when eating certain baked goods, so she was inspired to bake with dairy-free, gluten-free ingredients.
She started challenging herself to create the best and most delicious birthday cakes without butter and eggs. Testing her new recipes on more family and friends, everyone would ask what she put in her baked goods; her response was always a little, “love and magic.”
Now Bayoc is going into her 10th year in business and although there has been ups and downs, she has never lost the passion for it even though that passion has morphed over time.
“It was, for a while, always about the business and making it successful for myself and my family,” said Bayoc. “Today, it’s about providing opportunities for people in the community who may not always get the same opportunities as others do.”
The basic ingredients Bayoc looks for when hiring team members for SweetArt are simple — drive and passion. If they have those two things it means they’re willing to work hard, learn and grow.
Another secret ingredient to her longevity as a food entrepreneur is carving out time for yourself. With three kids, a thriving business, and other ventures in the works, Bayoc makes it a point to meditate daily, move her body at least 45 minutes a day and consume a big salad. Having those elements part of her daily routine helps keep her energy up for her team at work and crew at home.
Bayoc is not alone in creating opportunities for food entrepreneurs and other culinary talents in the community. With the food scene in STL expanding, Christy and Charlie Schlafly are building STL Foodworks, a new culinary incubator and commissary kitchen coming soon to St. Louis.
This space is aimed to be the midway point between testing recipes in the certified commercial kitchens and launching businesses. It’s an exciting time to be a food entrepreneur in the Gateway City.