When was the last time you stepped into Sweet Life Patisserie and it wasn’t packed with patrons waiting to satisfy their cravings?
The Eugene institution is known for its many delectable offerings, including desserts, cakes, pies, tarts, cookies, ice cream and sweet and savory breakfast and lunch pastries.
To ShelterCare and a variety of other nonprofits in the area, it’s also known for its giving spirit.
Catherine Reinhart and her sister Cheryl started the business in 1993, creating wedding and birthday cakes in their converted garage-bakery in the Whiteaker neighborhood. Six years later, they launched their bakery and pastry shop on Monroe Street. In 2004, they moved nearby to a custom-built kitchen.
Now, the bakery is a shining beacon of the local eatery scene and a wonderful example of a business that gives back.
“We really do love to support nonprofits and community groups in the area,” said Cheryl. “That’s where we get our business — the people of the community. And we like to give back that way. It makes us feel invested.”
Sweet Life has contributed in many different ways to ShelterCare over the past few years. The company has supported the organization by donations from in-store sales as well as in-kind treats for agency events. Additionally, Cheryl was a key member of the “I ShelterCare about Homelessness” planning committee in the fall 2014.
In-kind donations are especially beneficial to the partnership because Sweet Life seldom advertises. Cheryl said opportunities to support noble causes while introducing people to their menu is truly a win-win. Last year the business made 400-plus in-kind donations locally that included cakes, cookies and gift cards.
“We like to work with the people who need the most help,” she said. “We think ShelterCare is a great organization that does great work.”