A Brazilian chocolate maker is opening a cafe on Brady Street that the owner says will be “like a little piece of Brazil.”
Sweet Joy Brazilian Cafe is under construction at 1208 E. Brady St., the former Brewed Cafe, which closed during the pandemic.
Marcia Joy, originally from Brazil, has been making and selling the Brazilian chocolate truffle-like confections called brigadeiros under the Sweet Joy name in Milwaukee since 2014. Now she’s preparing for the next step.
“I’m going to take a chance and see if I can open a coffee shop,” he said.
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She had been working in restaurants in Delafield and Pewaukee and initially looked for cafeteria space in the suburbs before finding the vacant Brady Street cafeteria. Coincidentally, she had frequented the cafe when her son attended the nearby Tamarack Waldorf School.
Joy’s cafe will have coffee from Ruby Coffee Roasters in Nelsonville, near Stevens Point, as well as Joy’s brigadeiros.
“These are two things that work together,” he said, adding that it’s rare that people don’t like coffee or chocolate.
She didn’t drink coffee until six years ago, Joy admitted. “I was a hot chocolate person,” she said.
In addition to the chocolates, other sweets like brownies and sandwich cookies, coffee and espresso drinks, the cafeteria will have what Joy described as snacks.
You’ll make Brazilian cheese bread, which is naturally gluten-free; it can be eaten on its own, but expect to also use it as a base for Brazilian-style steak and chicken sandwiches.
The menu is a work in progress, but another item Joy hopes to develop is a meat-filled croquette made with cassava dough or cassava root. French fries served with sandwiches may also be made from cassava.
Acai bowls and smoothies will be on the menu, and he hopes to include guava and passion fruit flavors in menu items.
Patrons can expect to listen to bossa nova music in the cafe, which would have around 30 seats, including some comfortable lounge furniture.
“The decor is going to be plants everywhere, to represent the Amazon,” Joy said.
At the entrance, he plans to have a cocoa grinder, with the occasional smell of freshly ground cocoa beans in the air. “Like a mini class,” she said, to start conversations about chocolate.
Joy’s most optimistic hope is to have the cafe open before Christmas, though it might as well take until the new year to finish remodeling the space. A grand opening would take place in April, she said.