Name of business: The Sweet Life
Type of business: Bakery and coffee shop
Location : 7940 Lander Ave. Suite 10, Hilmar
Hours: 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday
Contact information: 209-250-1880
Specialty: Apple muffins
History of business:
For The Sweet Life owners Jasmin Flores and Alicia Alvarez, a dream years in the making was realized over the weekend as Hilmar’s newest stop for sweet treats celebrated its grand opening.
“We didn’t sleep much the night before because we wanted everything to be perfect,” Flores said.
The pair met over a decade ago through their husbands, who are cousins, and discovered a shared love for baking that came about through cooking for their children in the kitchen. After moving to the Central Valley from the Napa area two years ago, Flores and Alvarez began toying with the idea of opening up their own bakery and settled on Hilmar as the perfect location.
“We would always bake at the house together, and were always talking about looking for the opportunity to start our own business,” Flores said. “This location came up and we decided to take it.”
“It’s a small town and a welcoming community,” Alvarez said, adding that the lack of coffee shops in Hilmar made it a perfect landing spot for The Sweet Life. “I think it was just meant to be.”
Flores and Alvarez arrive at the bakery at 2 a.m. to get started on their goodies for the day, which include freshly-baked donuts, custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies, scones and more. The shop also offers a full coffee menu, complete with hot, iced and blended drinks, as well as smoothies and sandwiches. Customers have the option of coming inside to order, or they can take a trip through the drive-thru in their car.
“We believe everything is good quality, and we put passion into it, too,” Flores said. “We want to take care of our customers and make sure they’re pleased.”
While there are larger chain shops in the area that also offer coffee and pastries, Alvarez believes it’s The Sweet Life’s customer service that sets the bakery apart.
“It’s all about the way you treat people, the way you greet them when they come in and how you take their order. We take our time and listen to the customer,” she said. “Seeing customers come back is my favorite part.”
“It makes us really happy that people return and like what we’re doing, because it’s something that we actually like doing as well,” Flores added.
Though only in its first week of operation, Flores and Alvarez said customers already have favorites, like the apple muffin with streusel on top and the bakery’s fresh chocolate cookies.
“I think once people come in and try our stuff, they’ll be happy,” Flores said. “We want people to know that we’re here and so proud to be open.”