The Sweet Life Bakeshop Moves to Philly's Famous South Street

Megan Kennedy of The Sweet Life Bakeshop on South Street in Philadelphia
Megan Kennedy of The Sweet Life Bakeshop on South Street in Philadelphia

After four successful years in their original South Philly location, The Sweet Life Bakeshop has moved to an airy pink and white space on Philadelphia's famous South Street. Since opening their doors on March 2nd, they've been doing brisk business welcoming fans old and new, all who stop by for the Southern-inspired American desserts made by Sweet Life's owners, the married team of Megan and Antonio Kennedy.

On our first visit to The Sweet Life Bakeshop, we were instantly reminded of the baked goods of our childhood. No surprise then that Megan grew up with three grandmothers who taught her to bake items such as sugar cookies, Bundt cakes and buttery dinner rolls. Antonio grew up in the restaurant business: his family owned several Philly-area pizza parlors named after Antonio, and the now-closed Dominic's Seafood on Cecil B. Moore Avenue where he and Megan met in 2002. After their first daughter was born in 2006, Megan began baking "right around the time the cupcake craze was happening and all of the cake decorating shows were on TV." She eventually took a position with the Sugar and Spice bakery in East Falls, and when that shop closed, Megan kept going.

The first Sweet Life Bakeshop was in South Philly's Point Breeze neighborhood at 22nd and Latona (2010-2014), but the Kennedys decided to move to South Street after they outgrew the location, "both literally and figuratively." Megan explains, "The demand for our special order cakes (weddings, birthdays, corporate events) became so high that there was sometimes no space to store our regular retail desserts in the shop, so there were some Saturdays that we would have to close to the public and just take our catering orders. I was also 6 months pregnant with my youngest daughter (now 10 months old) and the shop really couldn't fit our family anymore!"

As for their new home, Megan enthuses, "We love South Street! We have a great mix of local residents, people who work in Center City, and tourists on the weekend. I am also so happy to see so many of our customers from our first location." During our numerous trips to The Sweet Life Bakeshop we witnessed a steady stream of customers: old regulars who followed them from their original location, and new regulars in the making, some who brought friends on their repeat visits and recommended their favorite treats.

The Sweet Life Bakeshop's all-natural goods are made daily on the premises with no preservatives, artificial flavorings or sweeteners. "You can see most of our ingredients from the front of the shop," offers Megan, "no secret mystery bottles or cans." Megan and Antonio share baking duties, with Megan in charge of decorating the treats and Antonio as the "resident frosting snob." Antonio uses four brands of butter for his frosting, tastes each batch least twice, and "when anyone else has to make it," says Megan, "he stands in the corner with his arms crossed and you can just feel him watching." Having devoured a few of Sweet Life's cupcakes (the seasonal lemon raspberry and coconut), we can attest to the frosting's perfection: it is velvety smooth and sweet without being sugary.

Banana Pudding at The Sweet Life Bakeshop in Philadelphia
Banana Pudding
We enjoyed all of our selections from the The Sweet Life Bakeshop: the peach cobbler was tart and tasty; the pineapple upside-down cake was moist and rich, the butter pecan pound cake (our fave so far) was indeed buttery and chock full of nuts. The Sweet Life's best-selling Banana Pudding recalls the fruity-cookie combo of our youth, and currently comes three ways: original, Strawberry Banana, and Sundae, which is the banana pudding with walnuts and a layer of chocolate ganache.

Another popular item at The Sweet Life Bakeshop is the Red Velvet cupcake with Nutella buttercream called "Sofi's Choice." Megan reveals, "It is named after one of our customers visiting from Houston, Texas, who asked what it would taste like with the two flavors together. It worked, and now she has a cupcake named after her!"

On Saturday, May 2, 2015, The Sweet Life Bakeshop will be participating in the South Street Spring Festival and will be open all day with free samples, giveaways, and specials. The Sweet Life Bakeshop is located at 740 South Street in Philadelphia; hours are Mon-Sat, 12-8 and Sun 12-6. For more info call 215.717.7770 or visit their Facebook page.

Cupcakes at The Sweet Life Bakeshop in Philadelphia
Cupcakes at The Sweet Life Bakeshop in Philadelphia
Photos ©Reese Amorosi 2015

Posted on Friday, April 10, 2015