Anchoring the corner of Portland’s “vegan strip mall,” Sweetpea Baking Company has been offering up vegan pastries and lunch fare since 2008. Owner Lisa Higgins’ cupcakes topped with creamy buttercream, silky-flavored cheesecakes, cookies, bars, and muffins are so good, even non-vegans swear by them. What’s more impressive is Higgins’ dedication to sourcing local ingredients—flour is from Shepherd’s Grain (a Food Alliance-certified sustainable farming collective in eastern Washington), other baking ingredients come from Bob’s Red Mill (see this list), local Glory Bee foods, and a small organic vegan sugar company.
The bakery cases tend to focus on the seasons, so you’re likely to see local organic marionberries in the scones in the summer, organic apples from Hood River in the donuts in the fall, and local hazelnuts in the muffins in winter. Soy milk and tofu come from OTA tofu, just a few blocks away. Sweetpea composts about 80 percent of their waste, they use compostable packaging, and they serve fair-trade coffee from Stumptown Coffee, roasted in the neighborhood. From stunningly moist “cookies n cream” cupcakes to mighty marionberry cheesecake, this little bakery is a mighty force in Portland’s vibrant café culture.