by Charles Cassady
A favorite morning-lunch café in Independence is turning the page. Paige Hay, to be exact. She is the fresh proprietor of Sweet P’s Café and Bakery, at 6523 Brecksville Rd.
This address was the longtime location of Babe’s Café, founded by Babe Chuppa.
“I have been in the industry for 12-plus years,” said Hay, “mainly working in the bar business. I am coming from the Cork-N-Bottle in Mayfield Heights, where I worked for the last eight years.
“I was ready to make the transition out of the bar life and into something that was more sustainable, so here we are.”
Hay said she and her fiancé, Jeff Deacon, are co-owners of the new Sweet P’s. This will be their first business venture together and as individuals.
She said, “We plan to introduce some hardier lunch options like an Italian grinder, turkey panini and grilled cheese, as well as offer some weekly specials for gluten-free dessert options, and other homemade baked goods.”
Under Chuppa, Babe’s Café had a popular run with loyal customers, and was a resource for diners during the COVID-19 lockdowns. There is still some Chuppa DNA running through the local dining scene in Brecksville. Chuppa’s son, Dominic DiGeronimo, is behind the Juice Lab at 8215 Chippewa Rd. DiGeronimo said his menu will not attempt to duplicate that of Babe’s, however.
“My fiancé previously knew Babe through a family friend who connected us to this opportunity,” said Hay. “We love the vibe and the foundation that Babe has laid, making the atmosphere warm and cozy – which feels like home to those who frequent daily, and newcomers that are in town for a night.”
Hay said she intends to keep the homey atmosphere alive. “We have kept a lot of the same menu items such as the egg bake, some sandwiches, soup, and of course, the daily donuts.”
Said DiGeronimo, “I think Paige will do a good job. Babe was great in taking care of the people of the community, and I’m sure Paige will do the same.”
Sweet P’s is open Monday through Saturday. Pickup orders are available and private parties can be arranged. Watch for the coffee of the day and other information at sweetpscafeandbakery.com. Fresh-served signage will be going up at the location in July.
“We are currently in a transitional menu phase to take temperatures on what the people want more of and hope to release a finalized menu sometime in July or the beginning of August,” said Hay. ∞
Photo: Sweet P’s employees (l-r) Cassie, Paige Hay (owner), and Jen are some of the new faces customers will see at the former Babe’s Cafe. Photo by Laura Bednar.