Thursday, December 16, 2010

Go with the Flow...

So, here we are at the end of our second year. There were many many moments when we thought: 1. What the hell are we doing? 2. Why did we want to do this again? 3. Are we making any money?

We still ask those question and many more.

We will probably change our hours slightly after we re-open in January. We opened initially Wednesday-Saturday--which was great! Then we added Tuesday. Then we added lunch? Then more lunch? Then we added earlier hours. Then even earlier hours. Then we opened an hour later because no one was coming at 7a.m.

So, we spent a lot of time trying to be everything for everybody. And that did not work for us. Now, we want to follow our needs and intuitions more. So things are going to change. This is a heads up. Just how they're going to change is not yet perfected, but they are going to or we're going to go crazy. Then there'll be no more SweetArt, and we definitely don't want that.

So bear with us. We're still navigating this small-business-dom.

grace & peace,


Monday, November 22, 2010

OK, seriously...

Has it really been that long??? October 8th since last post??? OK, seriously, I'm gonna get on it. We've been so busy...and making so many great things at the shop. Did you get a chance to have our Sweet Potato Pie with Brown Sugar Meringue topping? Ridiculous! We also did an awesome Vegan Maple Pecan Pie. Insane.

Just so you know, I kept seeing all these vegan pecan pie recipes with agar agar and soy milk and expensive mystery ingredient 8000, but they are all so unnecessary. A little arrowroot powder (way less expensive than agar-agar) does the trick just fine. Use any "regular" pecan pie recipe you find, substitute 1 Tbsp flax meal PLUS 1 Tbsp of water for each egg called for in the "regular" recipe, add 2 Tbsp arrowroot powder, mix and bake as normal (you may have to increase baking time slightly) and there you have it: Vegan Pecan Pie. It's really that go for it!

I truly love what I do.

grace & peace,


Friday, October 8, 2010

They Love Harry Potter

One of our recent weddings had an ode to all things Harry Potter. The cupcakes represented the four houses in the book series and the top cake--a book, with a side title that read "The Life of Brian and Allison". Congratualtions to the happy couple!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Eggs *%#@!

Just so you all know, our eggs come from a local farm here in Missouri called Good Earth Eggs. Here's the notice they brought to the shop today:

"Good Earth Egg Company's eggs are not involved in any recall that you might have heard about recently. Good Earth Egg Company's hens are raised from day-old chicks on our farm, insuring our commitment to the health and well being of our flocks. We have a comprehensive food safety quality assurance program in place to prevent any type of disease outbreak. For additional information concerning the recent recall of Iowa's Wright County Egg-please visit the Egg Safety Center's website: We appreciate your commitment to Good Earth Egg Company!


The David Family"

Good thing we buy our eggs locally! Another reason to support your local small businesses!

grace & peace,


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

One Singular Sensation

The last few days has been a test. Every now and then, I question everything there is or was--including the food that I make and bake. If the shop were a suitcase, I'd be the gypsy that I feel I am and pack that bad boy up ever so often--including this past week.

But thank God for friends.

A friend told me today that, "If someone took all your recipes and opened up shop around the corner, she could never duplicate what you and Cbabi have. You all are something that God and the ancestors have helped mold and design to do just this. Your essence is in your shop; that can't be copied."

So many people talk all around us, and it's not always positive. But hearing my friend say that tonight and getting a great! email from a recent wedding couple are reminders from God that what I do is good and cherished and whole and perfect for me. I don't have to be anyone else or do what someone else does or make my frosting like Bakery X (not a real place :) I just have to do me.

So, do you. When all else fails, it's so hard to pretend to be someone or something else. Sooner or later the party ends, the makeup comes off, and people either love the person standing in front of them or they don't. So you might as well be real and true and let those who love that real you join the fun.

trying to remember to be me,


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

THE NEW YORK TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There will be a picture with this post. Did you see us? Cupcakes & Canvases? In the New York Times. We are over-the-moon about this one. For those of you who don't know, the oh-so-humble SweetArt was mentioned in Sunday's (June27th) New York Times. There was a great feature about St. Louis in the Travel Section (36 hours in St. Louis). Read it and be proud of SweetArt and the other businesses highlighted.


Friday, June 25, 2010

LoriAnn's Cake

Congratulations to LoriAnn and her new husband! LoriAnn's pastry chef had to back out of doing her cake and the pastry chef suggested us (we're so honored). She came in knowing exactly what she wanted and how it should look. The top two tiers are vanilla cake filled with raspberry buttercream and the bottom tier is chocolate cake filled with raspberry buttercream. The reception was held at the Annex at Sqwires (fantastic location; so charming!)

We sure hope you two had a great honeymoon. Come see us on your way back to STL.

grace & peace,

Reien & the SweetArt Crew

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My brother, Maine

First off, he hates being called Maine; it's Jermaine, officially. My brother was the first one to tell me to go into business. Namely saying, "You can sell this cookie." That cookie became the "Maine Event," our signature chocolate-chip/chunk cookie--the top selling cookie in the shop.

What's stranger is the fact that years and years ago (atleast 20), I made some sugar cookies that he claimed after one bite had him doubled-over in disgust. True. They were pretty awful. Now, I have a little shop and people pay money for my sweet treats. For this, I am so grateful. For my brother, I am truly blessed.

See, Maine, is always there for me. When I get way-off reviews from people who know little about vegetarian food because they'd rather die than eat a meat-free meal, Maine flashes back to grade school and keeps it elementary by saying, "They're stupid." And although that's a word I don't allow in my home around my children, when on the phone with my brother who is trying to lift me back up from someone's opinion (did I mention someone's misguided opinion?) of my dream, I say, "Yeah, they're stupid."

See, I was the only girl amongst three boys. And to this day, I can always count on them to lift me up when I'm feeling underneath it all. When I'm feeling like it would be so much more sane to do custom cakes out of a small boutique store that is never, ever, ever open to the public because with the public, you get other peoples' issues. So you don't know Maine or my other brothers, but thank them if you love SweetArt. They keep me fighting.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sarah & Paul's Cake

Congratulations to Sarah & Paul...the FIRST couple who gave me complete creative control over their wedding cake. Thank YOU!! I hope you don't regret it! Their red velvet cake got a design that I thought fit Sarah's sunshiny personality.

We at SweetArt are wishing you both great healthy, longevity and lots and lots of love.

grace & peace,


Deborah & Walter's Cake

Congratulations to Deborah & Walter! They were married last week and everyone at SweetArt wishes them well!

grace & peace,

Reine & the SweetArt Crew

Monday, June 14, 2010

Looking for a great peach?

Hi, my name is Reine Bayoc, and I'm a peach fanatic. I've been searching the St. Louis area thus far in hopes of satisfying my peachy desires. And I'm not happy. The peaches thus far look the part but don't taste the part. Any suggestions? I need a good, sweet, juicy, tender, luscious peach. Simple request.

I am almost about to drive two hours away to a stand that had the best peaches I've ever had in my entire life. It was the summer of 2000, and I was pregnant with our first child and I craved peaches and eggs with onion rings and cheese (with ketchup) (as a combined meal). I want those peaches. Maybe I'll take the kids next Sunday on a search, with Poppa in tow, of course.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sweet Weddings!

Check out our new Sweet Weddings page on our website. Even if you are not getting married, check out this page because we added a rather long list of unique cake combinations that are delicious for any celebration.

grace & peace,


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Christine & Mark's Vegan Cake

We LOVE Weddings!!

There was a time I didn't enjoy doing wedding cakes because I was so intimidated by them...but I'm loving all things wedding right now. Here a a few recent unions. You can see Heather (who married Andy, lucky guy!) on one of the photos. Heather and Andy had the only wedding (thus far) that we could see a bit of the ceremony while setting up. Rena and I got all teary! They were beautiful.

Matthew and Tamiko's purple and pink VEGAN wedding cake was up next. And I got to see the beautiful couple while they were taking photos on Grand Blvd. They looked exquisite!

Emma & Jose had a festive cupcake tier in the heart of Soulard. They were a sweet couple to work with.
And Christine and Mark had a vibrant blue VEGAN wedding cake at the Missouri Botanical Garden. I didn't see them, but I know they were awesome as well. Here at SweetArt, we are wishing all our newly married couples lives filled with joy, great health, and longevity.

grace & peace,

Reine (Oh, and forgive the layout...somebody out there teach me how to be a little more creative and knowledgable about placement of photos!)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Right before opening on Saturday

Every Saturday is a other day feels the same. It's usually high stress, but so much fun. Here is what it looks like right before opening on Saturday morning. I love how pieces of quiche and Big Momma Rolls are missing (it's hard to work around this stuff on a hungry, high-stress Saturday morning!) That's our vegan quiche to the left. A new Saturday morning guest. Come check her out.

grace & peace,


Precious Cupcakes

A photo of our turtle cupcake (a customer favorite) and a new one we made on the fly...Le Grand Cupcake--a vanilla cake with caramel cream cheese frosting topped with a fresh strawberry and ganache. I know Le Grand is not on our site, like some other cupcakes you've seen in the shop on days we just decided to lovingly "throw something together".

Caramel Apple Tart

For those of you who LOVE cupcakes, I feel the same way about tarts and pies. I LOVE THEM!! Here's a beauty we made this morning...

Sunday Dinner

So I'm going in reverse this time. This was a Sunday dinner a couple of weeks ago. Sesame noodles with shittake mushrooms, leeks and edamame. I'll post the recipe soon. It was quick, healthy and delicious.

grace & peace,


That To-fish photo I promised

Do you remember that to-fish blog not too far back? Well here is the photo...with my little ones' hands eagerly approaching. So delicious that to-fish!

Mini Rose Cupcakes

I don't know if people know that we do mini cupcakes...but we do. We decided to deck these out with buttercream roses. I think they'd be perfect for any bridal shower or as wedding favors.

grace & peace,


Caitlin Got Married!

A couple of photos from our most recent cupcake wedding at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Congratulations to Caitlin & Sean!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Catering Menu Now Online!

Our modest catering menu is now online. Please visit our site, click on "store info, EATS, and such", and take a look.

grace & peace,

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Quick note: This week's special is a delicious Black Bean Tostada. Not just any black bean, but black beans cooked from scratch!! I said this to my daughter and she said, "You grew them?" Which made me feel a little less accomplished. "No, my dear. I soaked them over night and cooked them for one thousand years (seemed like it, anyway)...and made a sofrito to add to them, which was cooked for one hundred years..." This special is vegan and gluten free. We made a delicious chimichurri sauce to go with it and it is topped with perfect avocados and cute cherry tomatoes. Best part? It's only $4.50.

Oh, and we improved our Tower Grove (chicken salad). It's more tender and more perfect my opinion. Look forward to seeing you soon.

grace & peace,

reine...and I promise, when I get it together, i'll post photos!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Girl Talk

My daughter is strong willed. Just like her mother. I found myself telling Cbabi that every time I talk to her lately it feels like she is totally ignoring me--so i talk louder--which is so much fun for everybody(sarcasm). So last night I went into her room and sat on her bed and just started talking. And this sentence came out of my mouth: "Everything you learn about being a woman you will learn mostly from me. I will teach you, and it would be easier if I felt you were listening to me. " We ended up hugging it out, looking at Martha Stewart's wedding cake book (research) and everything was good.

Parenting stinks sometimes; and sometimes it's the best thing ever. Here's hoping I get it more right than wrong. And when I get it wrong, I apologize.

grace & peace,


To-Fish Sandwiches

I wish I had taken a picture...but I made to-fish sandwiches yesterday as a guilty pleasure. I will post the recipe...and a picture sooner than later. I say guilty pleasure because I fried them in canola oil. Hmmmmmmmm, they were so good and crispy because of the "double batter" my mom used to do. I took some flour and seasoned it with Old Bay Seasoning, salt, dried dill, kelp, onion and garlic powder, and pepper. I dipped these amazingly thin sliced tofu sheets I found at Jay International Market on Grand in my area in the flour mixture, then dipped them in plain soy milk, then dipped them in panko bread crumbs and fried those babies up!

Enjoyed them on a toasted bun with mixed greens, onion, time I'm going to make a creole sauce to go with it...this time was ketchup.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Does this happen after the first of every year?

What is this, you ask? Not blogging...but I'm back. And lots to blog about. Just had our first vegan Easter and took photos...finally mastered vegan mac n' cheese (thank goodness for Tease and Daiya!) and I want to share it with you all. Give me a chance to catch up and upload and I'll have a schedule for classes as well. As always, thanks for the support.

grace & peace,


Thursday, January 14, 2010


So long ago I posted...maybe it's because my digital camera is broken and I hate posting without pictures. Anyhoo, we will be doing a class just before Valentine's day...maybe Vegan Truffles or Vegan Tarts...haven't decided yet. Any interest?

grace & peace,


Saturday, January 2, 2010

And a Happy New Year...

There's one thing that is certain--change. When people have said this to me in the past, it always made me uncomfortable. I think maybe the thought of change just made me feel not in "control". Not that I'm a control freak, or anything:). But this year I know things are changing--right away actually--and I welcome all the good things that these changes will bring.

Just a year ago, we opened our doors with $300 and prayers. It was "do" or "close" and everyday I prayed people would find us because we did not have money for advertising (you wouldn't believe how much that stuff costs!) I prayed people would like us and tell others because our source of advertising would have to be word-of-mouth. It still has to be that way, honestly. I'd rather pay better wages than advertise.

And after being closed since Christmas Day, I am praying once again--that people keep coming and new people find us and people enjoy our space, and that this year I pray more and believe my prayers will be answered and stop all the dag'on worrying because it has done nothing but age me. Seriously.

We're opening up at 7am-7pm Tuesday-Friday and 8am-6pm on Saturdays--change number one! We will have a small breakfast menu--change number two! We're staying open an hour later for those who want dinner--change number three! These changes will be well received--claimed changed number four!

I get these daily emails from a site ( which sends me inspirational tidbits to brighten my day. The last one I opened said how wonderful 2010 would be for me in every way, but that I needed to do one thing: Dream Bigger.

'Nough said.

I'm dreaming bigger and wish you all do the same (and please, make them sweet dreams, not "what-if-the-worst-possible-scenario-always-happens-to-me" ones). I am so grateful for all the people who wish us well, who come and support this dream of heart is full of love and hope and belief in my dreams.

That's change number five! The best one yet.

Happy New Year.

grace & peace,