New Recipe: Sweet T’s becomes first Black-owned bakery at Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Sweet T’s Bakery & Snack Shop will soon become the first Black-owned bakery inside Philadelphia’s famous Reading Terminal Market, which has been around since 1893.

Currently, it is a pop-up cart inside the diverse market. The owners are husband and wife, Mark and Tia El.

The two first owned a brick-and-mortar shop on the corner of 22nd and Latona streets in South Philadelphia. Then they decided to go the food truck route in 2018.

In 2020 the bakers came to the Reading Terminal, and they are excited to make history.

“Sometimes a tear rolls down my eyes. I can’t believe it,” Tia El said. “My husband and I have been working so hard for an opportunity like this.”

The bakery will open in mid-April and will take the place of the former Metropolitan Bakery.

The couple specializes in all things sweet potato. The list ranges from sweet potato cheesecake, sweet potato pound cake, and traditional sweet potato pies with butter crust.

The number one seller at the bakery is the Sweetie’s Pie. A three-inch sweet potato pie with a graham cracker crust.

Tia got the recipe from her grandmother, but the graham cracker crust is her own unique spin. Tia says the graham cracker gives the pie some additional sweetness.

The bakery also offers four signature drinks, including strawberry lemonade and iced tea.

The couple is excited to renovate the space and decorate it with their signature colors: pink and black.

Once the bakery opens, Sweet T’s will be a part of the Reading Terminal Market delivery service.

The two are excited for the milestone and being an inspiration for other Black bakers.

“It has been 120 years, and it never was an African-American bakery in here. We are the first. We are trailblazers,” Mark El said.

Sweet T’s is currently open only on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The shop will allow them to be open from Tuesday through Sunday.

The couple anticipates being open daily by the fall.

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