Sweetbean Café & Bakery in Byron, Illinois is one of those places that makes me appreciate getting to travel in northwestern Illinois. I get to write about places I’ve never been to and meet amazing business owners that are passionate about what they do.
Baked goods a'plenty
The Bakery itself is adorable with tons of room for gathering and an amazing bakery case FILLED with some of the best baked goods you’ve ever seen. There's even a corner full of coffee merchandise and comfy Sweetbean pullovers and t-shirts.
I was immediately greeted when I walked in the door. It was impossible to choose from the baked goods in the glass case. There were so many wonderful goodies available. A chalkboard coffee menu on the wall shows a variety of different coffee and food options and the baristas were happy to help me decide on some popular items.
More than drinks & buns
Sweetbean Café & Bakery has been open for two years and is known for more than coffee and delicious baked goods. They serve only the freshest food, which is made right in the shop using minimally processed ingredients from the best sources available. They serve breakfast and lunch and have a variety of menu items such as breakfast bowls or wraps, tuna, and chicken salad croissants, and of course – a bakery case full of baked goods that you are never “too full” for.
It's all in a name...
When asked about the name, the owner, Mindy Hellyer, joked that she named the bakery after her husband who is super sweet and full of beans. However, the name stuck when they combined certain elements of the business. Those elements consist of high-quality coffee beans, baked goods, and the café. They even offer gluten and dairy free options and make their own salad dressings. A lot of home recipes were brought in from her childhood. Everything is made from scratch.
A passion for baking - a family affair
Baking has been a passion of Mindy's her whole life. She has always loved to entertain and bake for people. Before Sweetbean was a brick and mortar location, she was baking cakes and goodies out of her home. This became more popular than she ever expected--baking up to 6 cakes per weekend. So when the building came up for sale, she took the opportunity and turned it into a family business. Both of her daughters manage the front-end of Sweetbean and her mother helps out too.
When I asked Mindy what her favorite part of owning Sweetbean is – she smiled and said it was the people. When she opened Sweetbean she wanted to provide a nice, warm, comfortable place for people to gather. She thinks that treating people right is one of the most important parts of owning a business. Her customers have become like family and she wants everyone to have the best experience possible.
I know that I already can't wait to go back!
Sweetbean Bakery and Cafe
404 W Blackhawk Dr.
Byron, Illinois 61010