'My dreams have come true': Quincy baker is in hog heaven after opening Sweet Piglet Cafe

Alexandra Weliever
The Patriot Ledger

RANDOLPH – Walking into Sweet Piglet Bakery and Café, customers are greeted by hanging egg chairs, a counter full of colorful sweets and, of course, pigs.

Ceramic swine, stuffed sows, crocheted oinkers; a menagerie of piglets greet those looking for sweet and savory snacks.

The Quincy mother-daughter team who run the Asian-inspired bakery, Armanda Britton and Meghan Phan, said the theme comes from Britton's love of pigs. But she said she hasn't purchased a single piglet that's featured in Randolph's newest café, as they've all been gifts from friends.

Armanda Britton is the owner and baker of Sweet Piglet on Main Street in Randolph.

"I just think that they're adorable," Britton said while hustling in the bakery's kitchen. She said her father nearly bought her a pot-bellied pig.

Phan, a mathematics student at Northeastern University, said it's been her mother's dream to open a bakery. For the past year, they've worked together to run Sweet Piglet as a home-baking operation.

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On Sept. 12 that changed,  when the bakery celebrated its grand opening at its new storefront in Randolph.

Britton has worked as a youth counselor for the nonprofit Boston Asian Youth Essential Services for the past three decades, she said, and she loved her work. But when she worked managing and baking desserts for a sushi restaurant in Easton, Britton found customers coming back for her crème brulee.

Sweet Piglet opened on Sept. 12 in Randolph.

"That was the first time people paid for my baked goods," she said. "They were very enthusiastic.

"With that kind of response, it kind of gave me the courage to want to do more," Britton continued.

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 While Britton explains her background in baking, her hands are working and she's on the move around the kitchen. She pulls a tray of bento cakes, small creations that fit in one hand, and sets it on a nearby table. As she talks, she rolls each cake on its side one by one and shears off their tops, leaving perfectly round medallions of bread ready to be frosted.

Bread knife in hand, Britton says that when she stopped working at the sushi restaurant, she began making macarons for the previous owner of Bambu. When the owner later retired, she encouraged Britton to take over and open a bakery in Bambu's old storefront.

The Sweet Piglet is a new eatery on Main Street in Randolph. It serves fresh baked goods as well as coffee and sandwiches.

And though she loved her work at the nonprofit, she decided that after 28 years, maybe it was time to follow another dream: opening Sweet Piglet.

While customers chow down on sweet breads and tea, they're welcome to find a comfy seat at a table or in one of the couple of hanging chairs in the bakery's front, which Phan says she hopes are "Instagram-worthy." 

Much  sets Sweet Piglet apart from other bakeries. One of the most obvious distinctions may be the unique flavors and hues of the baked goods.

The macarons and bento cakes that line shelves pop with color — bright purple and lime green sweets dot the shop's glass cases.

Britton explained how the cakes' colors derive naturally from the ube and pandan the bakery used to flavor some of the shop's desserts. Ube, a kind of yam from the Phillipines, reveals a rich violet when you crack open the root, Britton demonstrated as she split an ube apart.

Fresh macarons are on the menu at the Sweet Piglet in Randolph.

Pandan infuses some of the shop's baked goods with a light green tint, and both flavors taste something like vanilla, Phan said. Other macaron and cake flavors include tiramisu, red velvet, matcha and chocolate.

"I think the Asian flavors tend to be a bit more colorful," Britton said. 

One of Phan's menu favorites is the bacon-jam sandwich. Strips of bacon join caramelized onions in a pan, Phan explains, which is reduced after the addition of coffee and sugar for a sweet-savory open-faced sandwich.

The food at Sweet Piglet isn't limited to a specific region of Asia, Phan said. The bakery offers Japanese gyoza, Filipino ube-flavored goods, Korean bento cakes and more. 

The Sweet Piglet is a new eatery on Main Street in Randolph. It serves fresh baked goods as well as coffee and sandwiches.

Sweet Piglet also sells a decadent 20-layer crepe cake, boba teas and coffee.

Her mother has always loved to bake, Phan said, and the foods they sell are the kind of foods she grew up with.

Britton said one of the reasons she got into baking stems from buying baked goods for herself and always feeling  that the items she bought could be just a tad different.

"There wasn't chocolate, there wasn't enough this, there wasn't enough that," she said. "So I decided to try to make my own, and that's kind of how it started."

Owner and baker Armanda Britton waits on a customer at The Sweet Piglet.

She also loves sharing her baked goods with people, Britton said. She hopes visitors come to feel like a kind of extended family to the mother-daughter team.

The bakery has been busy its initial days, Phan said. Britton said that maybe in a few weeks, she'll be able to process all that's happened.

"It's hard to know what to feel yet," she said. "It's just kinda been like boom-boom-boom-boom-boom.

"I think maybe in a month when I'm able to sit down for a second, I might be able to realize that my dreams have come true."

The Sweet Piglet is a new eatery on Main Street in Randolph. It serves fresh baked goods as well as coffee and sandwiches.

If you go

What: Sweet Piglet Bakery & Cafe

Where: 1138 North Main St., Randolph

Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday-Monday 

Info: 781-885-3466 or sweetpigletbakery.com

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Reach Alex Weliever at aweliever@patriotledger.com.