CLINTON — When customers asked, Sweetheart Bakery made it happen.

The bakery now has an espresso bar that serves up hot drinks, coffees, frozen drinks and more as the result of customers’ requests.

“We care about what our customers want,” said owner Brenda Thornton. “They wanted lattes and espressos.”

The bakery now features drinks such as the Classic Charlie and Fiesty Florence, named after the store’s 1950 founders. Three employees, Lindsey Thornton, Becky Temple and Shauna Hansen, have taken classes to learn about the new espresso bar and have even shadowed workers at Blondie’s Coffee Out Back in DeWitt for extra practice.

The ladies made at least 800 attempts at mixtures of the espresso, seeking customer input for the best drinks and tastes. The drinks are expected to spotlight seasonal flavors in the future.

Thornton’s favorite part, though, is how connected one piece of the bar is to the Lyons district. The board menu is a refurbished chalkboard from the Elijah Buell Elementary School — a piece of nostalgia for many who reside in the area.

“Lyons is based on family and neighborhood,” said Thornton, who likes the preservation of history in her bakery.

The community has really taken to the new drink menu. Already, banks and schools have taken advantage of delivery from Sweetheart Bakery, which will only deliver at least six drinks.

Customers are excited about the new option on the north side of town, and to grab a sweet while one of the two drink nozzles steam out something caffeinated.

“I thought it would start slow,” Thornton said, “but it started out screaming.”

Temple, the lead espresso maker, said people find it “awesome” that Lyons now has a place for different types of coffee. The group looks forward to learning new things, and continuing to serve the community.

The espresso bar’s hours are Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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