Williston Park’s Sweet to Lick on Hillside Avenue is a vegan bakery that has expanded over the years as quickly as its menu has, according to owner Michael Sabet. 

Without a proper culinary background, Sabet started making treats for his wife and that evolved into Long Island’s first vegan bakery, which opened in 2013. 

“More than just opening up a bakery, there was a risk,” Sabet said. “The risk was opening up this hyperniche bakery, but you can look around today and see tons of vegan options.”

The move followed years of traveling to farmers markets throughout Long Island before settling in Williston Park, which Sabet said has been perfect. Sabet  said it was too expensive to build a bakery and opted to renovate a space  that had  a bakery. Sweet to Lick is the ninth bakery to operate at the storefront. 

Recently, PETA named Sweet to Lick’s strawberry dream cake one of the top 10 vegan sweet treats in the country. 

“Sweet To Lick’s Strawberry Dream Cake is a dream come true for celebrating love and kindness to animals,” said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. 

Sabet said there are a number of reasons for  the rise in vegan options, including celebrities changing their diets and younger generations being more open to focusing on sustainability. 

“Beyonce I remember went vegan very quickly, but still it had an effect,” Sabet said.

 Like other businesses, Sweet to Lickis still dealing with the effects of the pandemic and supply chain issues. Sabet was able to stay open with a lot of customers opting for the lunch menu but he said he believes that some eateries  can only hold for so long. 

“We may have the worst behind us, but the problems will still persist I believe,” Sabet said. 

The bakery has been returning to a sense of normalcy, which is a far cry from the barricaded doors and serving desserts through a small window, Sabet said. 

One of the events Sabet is returning to with the ease of restrictions is a cosplay Saturday on April 16, where he will provide themed desserts and giveaways for customers who are dressed up. In addition, the bakery held art shows before the pandemic. 

Sabet said he is happy with how his business has expanded and could not have foreseen this much success when starting out.

“This grew merely out of a token to my wife and it’s become this thing that makes people happy,” Sabet said. “They tell me what they want me to make and I’ll make it.”

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Brandon Duffy is a New Jersey-based reporter for The Island Now, a position he assumed in July of 2021. He covers news out of Floral Park, New Hyde Park, the Willistons and Mineola, previously reporting on business and elections.