Meet Your Neighbors: Kay & Gretchen Sweetness Bakery & Cafe

Kay Krueger & Gretchen Krueger
Sweetness Bakery and Cafe
3524 SE 52nd Ave. PDX 97206

Who are you?
Kay and Gretchen Krueger 

What do you do?
We own and operate Sweetness Bakery and Cafe in FoPo. Everything we make is from scratch using the best ingredients possible. We make muffins, danish, cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, cookies, beautiful cakes and pies, and really incredible, imaginative and delicious savory pastries and breakfasts. Gretchen is the driving force behind the pastries and savories while Kay cooks up delicious breakfasts and decorates the birthday, anniversary, special occasion and wedding cakes.

What is your inspiration? (Why do you do what you do?)
We are 3rd and 4th generation bakers, respectively. Our biggest inspiration is our mother/grandmother, Hilda Austermuehle. She had a passion and dedication for her business that really set it apart from other bakeries. We think about her every time we develop a new product or idea.

What brought you and/or your business to the Foster-Powell Community?
In the winter of 2006, we decided that it was time to continue our family tradition. The bubble tea shop that was here was for sale and we made the plunge. This neighborhood and its wonderful people have helped us make Sweetness what it is today- we would not be here without them. We love to host the Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association meetings here every month as well as being involved with local schools and other groups. I feel like we’ve made a lot of great friends over the years!

What is your favorite way to enjoy Foster?
Kay loves to visit other businesses on Foster- Bar Carlo, O’Malley’s, The Slingshot, Tortalandia, Meticon, etc. Gretchen loves to walk down Foster and take photographs of the quirky, unique things that make Foster Foster.

How do you envision the future of Foster?
It’s here! There have been so many changes in the last 5 years to the streetscape, businesses, storefronts, and residents that it’s almost unrecognizable from what it was just a few years ago. I think that the influx of young families has so much to do with that.

Some top fives to appease the list lovers……

Your Top Five Songs to get you through life?
1. pretty much any Pearl Jam song
2. Mozart
3. Led Zeppelin
4. Beethoven
5. Etta James

Your Top Five Haunts in Portland
1. Slingshot
2. O’Malley’s
3. Decorette Shop
4. Cash and Carry
5. Murder by the Book (on Hawthorne and 32nd)

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