There’s something about a good bakery that makes me smile. It’s that moment you walk in and smell the sweet treats, at the same time diving into the happy energy that typically congregates at places where cake is being sold by the slice. Rare is the person who doesn’t enjoy sweets (I’m married to one), but for everyone else, nothing beats a slice of fresh cake with your coffee as a midday treat.
Sweet Bites, the new bakery in on 32 Beach Street in Vineyard Haven, promises to be that for us cake-loving folks. From the owners of Bite on the Go, Sonia and Valerio DeStefani, Sweet Bites will be open daily from 6 am until 6 pm offering coffee, breakfast, and lunch sandwiches, baked goods, cakes, and more to the Island community. As we entered the bakery, it was bustling, as it was their second day in business. When you come in, there’s a refrigerated shelf packed with ready-to-go cakes, perfect for spontaneous birthday parties, which is great since most times you need to preorder cakes way ahead of time. There’s also a variety of individual dessert cups in all flavors and combinations — these are ideal for when you want a sweet treat, but don’t need an entire cake in your home. It would also be a fun idea for a party to offer a couple of these as dessert options.
As you approach the counter, there’s a hot display of fried Brazilian goodies like croquettes and empanadas, as well as other traditional handheld snacks. To the side, an entire case of brigadeiros, the classic Brazilian truffle, astounds. There are so many flavors to choose from, including churro, caramel, chocolate, and more. The case next to it is where all my hopes and dreams of being fit and skinny go to die — the cake case. Here you’ll find one of the largest varieties of cakes by the slice on-Island, whether you’re looking for a simple Cornmeal and Guava cake or craving a slice of moist Caramel Prune cake. Let’s talk a bit about this Caramel Prune Cake, which might sound not like your common cake flavors combined, but once you have a bite, you’ll understand why it works. Prune is a fruit very typically used in desserts in Latin America and the Caribbean, and its bright fruitiness pairs so well with the smooth caramel. Layers of cake that are moistened with sweetened milk, along with the caramel and prune, make a delightful cake I will be coming back for.
It’s not only a bakery but also entertainment, since the open kitchen behind the counter lets you watch the talented bakers as they create these tasty treats. The space was clean and organized, even though each of the bakers was making a cake or dessert — with so many moving parts, it’s nice to see they still stay clean and tidy.
Sweet Bites will surely become a fantastic addition to the town of Vineyard Haven, and for those who live in the other towns, making a short trek for cake is always worth it. At least I think it is! Follow them on Facebook for daily offerings and to see what they are baking up: facebook.com/sweetbitesmv/.