August 2015 | DINING
Number of years in Oakland: 2 1/2
Sweet Bar is a bakery ~ café that opens with both sweet and savory in the morning. Coffee of course, tea, homemade chai. We segue into lunch with panini’s grilled on our own bread, soup, salads and of course desserts! Croissant and muffins, cookies and cupcakes. Birthday cakes and catering. We don’t leave anyone out, so there’s always something that is made with vegan or gluten free diets in mind. Local beers and wines, too.
From owner, Mani Niall
Q: What inspired you to start your business?
I owned a bakery in Los Angeles and sold it in 1999 to move to the Bay Area. It took another 12 years, and some very fun and event filled baking opportunities, before I found just what I was looking for in the Uptown District. A great space with good infrastructure in a not yet too-crowded area, and a booming art, music, restaurant scene with lots of daily businesses around. I knew it the moment I laid eyes on the Packard Lofts, a.k.a. the McFarlane’s Candy Co.
Q: Tell us in one sentence why your customers love your business.
Great food, coffee and baked goods, our energized and outgoing team all in an inviting, lived-in space.
Q: What’s the best thing about doing business in Oakland?
The people. So diverse: entrepreneurs, self-starters, socially aware, all races, spiritual dimensions and sexual orientations. Food lovers. Aware of the gifts Oakland has to offer and takes advantage, from biking to live music, walking and hiking, great outdoor spaces, art and sculpture, design, environmental involvement. I could go on.
Q: What are some of your favorite local businesses in Oakland?
Mr. Espresso, Farley’s, The Paramount, The Shed, Hog’s Apothecary, Two Mile Wines, New Parkway, Molcajete, Rang Dong, Dopo, American Steel,
Q: What’s the one thing Oakland offers that you couldn’t live without?