Sweet T’s in Shawnee growing restaurant / bakery / barbecue

Leah Wankum - August 3, 2018 12:01 pm
Sweet T’s is a new bakery / barbecue joint in Shawnee.

The owners of Sweet T’s haven’t finished deciding what their shop offers. Their idea last year started as a small bakery; then they added a coffee shop. Now, they have barbecue, a full breakfast menu and lunch specials.

As the downtown Shawnee shop continues to grow, owners Terri Brockhaus and Danny Lyons — a mother-son duo — plan to add more. Their grand opening was Feb. 3, after a soft opening in October 2017, replacing Nieman Bay Coffee House and Dodge City Beef on the corner of Johnson Drive and Nieman Road.

Brockhaus runs the bakery: doughnuts, danishes, muffins and “lots of cookies,” plus cakes, including specialty cakes for weddings, graduations and other special occasions.

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Danny Lyons smokes his barbecue out back, behind Sweet T’s. He also takes requests for specialty orders.

To accompany the bakery and coffee shop, John Brockhaus, Lyons’s father and Brockhaus’s husband, began cooking hot meals for breakfast, including croissant sandwiches, breakfast burritos and biscuits and gravy. Lyons’ girlfriend, Shana McKain, runs the coffee bar.

After that, they decided to add a lunch menu, so Lyons brought his smoker. Brockhaus said that was “Danny’s dream all along, to bring down the barbecue.”

Sweet T’s also offers catering, hosting parties, meetings and reunions, and also delivering their products.

“So, we do everything,” Lyons quipped.

Remnants of Shawnee State Bank, the original occupant of the 100-plus-year-old building, can be seen in the shop, including a small conference room inside the former bank vault and a small shrine commemorating the bank and building’s history.

Terri Brockhaus bakes cookies, cakes, brownies, danishes and special requests from customers.

Brockhaus brings 30 years of experience in the food industry with her, including at the Crown Center and Judi’s Bakery, before the owner retired. She also baked on the side for friends and family.

“I enjoy the people when they come in and we give them something, and they’re like, ‘Oh, this is so good!’” Brockhaus said. “Watching their faces, on anything any of us make… that’s why we do it.”

The restaurant area features a big-screen projector and TV as well as a sound booster system. Their next plans for the shop are to obtain a liquor license and build out a pub-style bar and add a kitchen (hopefully in the next month) to keep the barbecue and baked goods separate.

“We’re hoping to stay here for a long time and, with the two kitchens, I will be doing the bakery and he won’t be in my way,” Brockhaus said of her son, Lyons. “I don’t want my bakery stuff to taste or smell like his barbecue, so we need it separated.”

Brockhaus especially enjoys baking cookies, but she also bakes cakes for special occasions, like weddings and graduations.

Sweet T’s also plans to hire more employees and expand their hours after this summer; they are currently 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Despite their limited hours, they get a lot of drop-bys and customers who request special orders during the week, Lyons said.

Brockhaus and Lyons also hope to engage more with the community, especially through fundraisers. For instance, they have offered to host at the end of the Blessed are the Peacemakers Memorial Ride, which takes place Sept. 8 and raises funds for the families of two Wyandotte deputies who were killed in the line of duty.

“I’m just all about helping out where I can,” Brockhaus said. “It’s just the thing to do.”

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