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Couple makes history by opening Reading Terminal’s first Black-owned bakery

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Tia and Mark El have been trying to open a booth at Reading Terminal Market since 2018. Last year, they were offered a temporary gig.

"We started off in October as a day stall on Fridays and Saturdays, and we’ve been asked a number of times from customers when will we be here more days," said Tia.

This month, they finally get that opportunity. They’re opening Sweet T’s Bakery & Snack Shop in the former Metropolitan Bakery location — and they’re making Reading Terminal history.

“This is the first Black-owned bakery inside of Reading Terminal Market in 129 years,” said Mark.

The couple specializes in sweet potato offerings — pies, pound cakes, cheesecakes.

“We also have our four signature drinks that were specially designed by Tia,” Mark added.

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Sweet T's becomes first Black-owned bakery at 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.

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Sweet T's Bakery Makes History at Reading Terminal Market

VISIT PHILLY

Mark and Tia El are making history. When Sweet T’s Bakery opens in Reading Terminal Market later this month, it’ll be the first Black-owned bakery in the market’s 128-year history.

Sweet, delicious history.

Pies are the star of the menu and Sweet T’s is known for its sweet potato pie with a graham cracker crust — a twist on the recipe Tia learned from her grandmother. The sweet potato pie is on the menu year-round, alongside other sliceable sweets like cheesecake pie, lemon cake with buttercream icing, 7Up cake, pound cake and more.

If you don’t have room for a whole pie (c’mon, there’s always room), Sweet T’s also serves up three-inch mini-pies, which pair nicely with one of the bakery’s signature lemonades and iced teas.