Editor's Note: This article is part of a new online series launched in July 2023 by the City of Gainesville intended to highlight and promote must-try businesses in the area of the historic square in downtown Gainesville, Georgia. As the community continues to flourish and welcome new restaurants, retailers and service providers – especially within the downtown corridor – leadership wishes to introduce available offerings to residents and visitors alike ahead of their next trip to the City of Gainesville. Must-Try Monday features will be released weekly via gainesville.org and the @GainesvilleGeorgiaGovernment (City of Gainesville, Georgia) Facebook page. Be sure to "Like" and follow us on social media so you don't miss the latest and greatest about the Hospitality Capital of the World!
Sweet Magnolias Café & Bakery | 118 Main St. SW | Open 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Saturday
GAINESVILLE, Ga. (July 17, 2023) – Prominently visible at the corner of Main and Spring streets, Sweet Magnolias Café & Bakery has been a staple lunchtime eatery for Gainesvillians over the past decade-plus.
From gourmet handhelds like the hot homemade meatloaf and Rebecca’s famous chicken salad sandwiches, to the magnolia Cobb and summer salads, to tempting sides like pasta and potato salads, Sweet Magnolias Café & Bakery has something to please all taste buds.
“All our salads, soups and sandwiches are made from scratch [and] fresh every day,” Owner Dharma Patel told the City of Gainesville, Georgia, of “Sweet Mag’s”, what many frequent customers lovingly call the business.
And while reservations are recommended for parties of eight or more, part of Sweet Magnolias’ appeal (as if you needed another reason to try it) is the ability to walk in, place your order and enjoy your food within minutes.
Learn the ins and outs of Sweet Magnolias Café & Bakery, what makes it a Must-Try Monday-worthy business and why you should make it a destination the next time you're in downtown Gainesville by reviewing the exclusive Q+A with Paresh Patel below.
Q: When did your business open and where?
Q: How long have you been operating on the historic square in downtown Gainesville?
A: 11 years!
Q: What drew you to operate your business in downtown Gainesville?
A: Lots of opportunity on the square with the courthouse, doctors and lawyer offices, [plus the] community feeling.
Q: What kinds of products and/or services does your business offer to the public?
A: Sandwiches, soups, salads, coffees, ice cream and soft drinks.
Q: Can you give some examples of unique products and/or services you offer that aren’t easily replicated elsewhere in town?
A: All the homemade sides, soups, salads and sandwiches are made from scratch. We [also] offer catering with prompt deliveries.
Q: What offerings are you most proud of and why? Give us the scoop!
A: [Everything as its] freshly made from scratch with lots of love.
Q: Do you target a specific audience? If so, can you please specify?
A: Northeast Georgia Health System [as we offer] fresh, healthy food.
Q: If you aim to target everyone, can you please explain how and through what products and/or services?
A: Word of mouth and social media.
Q: What is your favorite “must try” item you offer and why? Feel free to name more than one!
A: The chicken salad sandwich [as it was] voted the best in the U.S. in Esquire magazine.
Q: In your own words, what makes your business a positive addition to the downtown cityscape?
A: Clean, quick and fast service. We love participating in downtown Gainesville events and [are] proud of serving the community.
Photo cutline | Rebecca's Famous Chicken Salad Sandwich, a staple menu item at Sweet Magnolias Café and Bakery, was named one of the best sandwiches in America by Esquire magazine. Find additional photos shared via the @GainesvilleGeorgiaGovernment Facebook page.