APRIL 2022 SMALL BUSINESS OF THE MONTH: SWEET REVOLUTION BAKE SHOP
Sweet Revolution Bake Shop delivers love at first bite
One Indiana summer, after Chef Sarah McGregor-Ray experienced promising success at the Lafayette Farmer’s Market with her gourmet pastries, she found herself the co-owner of a bakery.
A family-owned business with a powerhouse brother-and-sister team, Sweet Revolution is located in Historic Downtown Lafayette. Sarah’s brother Jonathan and mother Debbie McGregor share ownership. Since opening in June 2017, the shop has doubled in square footage to accommodate its ever-growing customer base.
Sweet Revolution features a variety of specialty, freshly baked pies and pastries made with natural ingredients. Additionally, their carefully curated menu offers made-from-scratch savory pies, quiches, coffee and teas.
Florida natives, the McGregors eventually moved to Kentucky before relocating to Lafayette, where they’ve lived for over a decade. Debbie’s husband, Geoff, was offered a job as a general contractor. The rest of the McGregor clan joined their parents in Indiana within a year.
Sarah fell in love with Greater Lafayette. She admits that while she’s not a fan of large cities, she appreciates what they have to offer. And Lafayette, she says, is a perfect balance between a densely populated urban area and a small town.
“I’ve met some of the nicest people ever here. It fit. The way it’s growing – it’s awesome. It’s fun. It’s exciting to see. And it’s a blessing also,” Sarah said. “I’m super excited to have two businesses downtown. I think we lucked out.”
From vision to reality
The sounds of Sarah piping macaronsonto baking sheets and rapping them against the kitchen counter bellow in the background as Debbie tells a story she loves to tell – a story about the success of her children and how it happened.
“I knew Sarah was gifted with food when she was 10,” Debbie began. “She would help me cook, and I just let her do more and more all the time. She is very gifted. It’s fun to watch.”
So, Sarah went to culinary school, became a pastry chef and worked for over 20 years at multiple restaurants and hotels across the country. Now, she runs her very own bakery – a personal goal she always aspired to achieve.
“It’s definitely been the most gratifying thing I’ve ever done,” Sarah smiled as she continued to pipe macaron batter onto trays, place them in the oven and remove them – all in a perfect cadence. There’s a rhythm in the way she works around the kitchen.
Her journey to opening Sweet Revolution took some brotherly encouragement from entrepreneurially gifted, Jonathan. He told her that as a family, they were going to fulfil Sarah’s dream. “We can do this,” Jonathan told her.
And they did do it. Twice.
The road to success
Greater Lafayette residents who may be wondering whether there’s a correlation between Sweet Revolution and Revolution Barbeque, are indeed correct.
Following Sweet Revolution’s success, the McGregor family opened Revolution Barbeque in 2020 – at the very peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sarah serves as the chef for both locations. Jonathan runs the business end of Revolution Barbeque, and Debbie performs the administrative duties.
Despite stiff lockdown restrictions, especially on the food services industry – their new restaurant quickly gained traction, Debbie said, noting that their rapid growth has been quite a surprise in their entrepreneurial journey.
It’s the customers, Debbie and Sarah credit, in large part, to their expansion. They enjoy seeing return customers – especially those who have faithfully come back repeatedly after Sweet Revolution’s first day at the Farmer’s Market seven years ago.
In addition to their loyal customers, Sarah attributes the success of her business to loving what she does.
“Ultimately, when you have a care, I think that shows,” Sarah explained. “I’m sure you can walk into a place and be like, ‘okay they do care how this stuff looks.’ I think that’s the most of it,” Sarah laughs as she checks the smell and consistency of the macaron batter.
Of course, the road has been a bit windy. Running any business presents its challenges. But Debbie said challenges don’t stop her children. “They don’t look at challenges as obstacles. They always figure out a solution, and make necessary changes”
More delicious revolutions
As for the future? Expect to see a newly remodeled Sweet Revolution storefront and some fresh interior decorating.
The McGregors also have a few more entrepreneurial irons in the fire, Debbie smiled. Though she can’t share specifics just yet, she did allude that any additional projects will most definitely reference the revolution brand – a name of which Jonathon thought.
And Sarah? Well, she’s going to keep challenging herself, as she has always done.
“We don’t want to just be the best bakery in Lafayette,” she explained. “We want someone to come here from anywhere and enjoy it and see what we have to offer.”
Location and contact information
Location: 109 N 5th St., Lafayette, IN 47901
Phone: (765) 743-7437
Small Business of the Month Award Ceremony
The Small Business of the Month Award Ceremony is typically held the last Wednesday of every month.
About the Small Business of the Month Program
The Small Business of the Month Program (SBOM) is designed to recognize the dedication, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit displayed by Greater Lafayette Small Businesses. The goal of the monthly award is to highlight a small business and give them extra marketing exposure to aid in growing their business.
The program is sponsored by Old National.