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Sweet Surprise

Business Helps Through Donation Jar

The Sweet Spot is a cafe/shop/bakery in Mayville that serves a variety of lunch items and sweets. Instead of a tip jar, the owners have a donation jar, which they use to donate to local charities. P-J photso by Carly Gould

MAYVILLE — The Sweet Spot cafe and bakery is a well-known spot to locals in Mayville for its lunch menu and baked goods.

Darlene Wendell and her husband, Tim, opened up the shop, located at 4 N. Erie St., Mayville, a little more than eight years ago, selling homemade soups, salads, sandwiches and baked sweets from scratch. They also have a small gift shop and cafe, which they rent out for parties, showers and events. But what sets The Sweet Spot apart is instead of a tip jar, the store has a donation jar.

“The donations always go to a charity of our choice,” Wendell said. “We always donate to the Fourth of July parade, and we always do the fire department.”

The donations come from customers and from staff. Wendell said that instead of a waitress wage, she pays her staff hourly wages so they don’t have to rely on tips to make a living, and therefor the extra money can go towards charities instead.

One of their biggest donation is to the Fourth of July Committee, which plans and creates Mayville’s July 4 parade. The group arranges the fireworks, does the clean up afterward, making sure the money is there for judging, taking care of the bands and prizes. Wendell said the parade is a big part of Mayville, and lots of people benefit from it, which is why the shop makes sure to donate. This year, the community raised $600 for the parade committee.

“Right now, we’re collecting donations for the local fire department,” Wendell said. “Being a small community, we don’t have a paid fire department, so the donations really help and it benefits the community.”

The family-owned restaurant makes sure to donate to established charities so Wendell knows that the money is being put to good use.

“Our staff has helped us choose the charities we donate to,” Wendell said. “We’ve donated to breast cancer awareness, charities for down syndrome — anything. We have customers who ask what the charity is this week, or that they are firefighters or been on the parade committee.”

Wendell wished to emphasize that the money comes from the community and the impact the people have made through the donations.

“We have a lot of joy from watching the good that the community does,” Wendell said. “We’re privileged to have our customers and our community and our staff.”

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