VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A familiar favorite in Virginia Beach shut down during winter to get a facelift. Now, The Sweet Spot on Atlantic Avenue is back open and ready to serve up Instagram-worthy desserts.
Covered in flowers and pink from top to bottom, The Sweet Spot catches your eye instantly.
"I wanted to stick out like a sore thumb, okay?" Owner, President, and CEO Mery Ghattas said with a laugh. "I want it to be like, 'Oh my gosh, look at this pink place, what is it?"
Ghattas said it was time the shop received some TLC: "Virginia Beach showed us so much love that we had to redo this location to make it worthy of Virginia Beach and to make it spectacular."
Ghattas said they tore everything down and built it back up, not only for the customers but for the city, too.
"Yes, we developed the desserts, we worked so hard, but if the city didn't show us the love, we wouldn't be where we are."
The Sweet Spot is now a well-known spot in Hampton Roads. When people think of this gem, they think of the color first.
"Pink is such a beautiful color, and I always wanted to attract females," Ghattas said.
She wanted to create something for women but said she still sees men come in alone, too: "You create something for women, and I think everyone will come."
If you are not coming in for the aesthetic, you're coming in for the food.
"We are a dessert store. We do waffles, churros, funnel cakes," Ghattas said.
They also serve ice cream, sundaes, shakes, bubble waffles and more! All of their creations are made in-house. And yes, most are the signature pink color.
A new addition that caffeine lovers should get excited about is coffee. They will create your coffee right in front of you, then seal it in a can, so you can grab, go and pop the top when you're ready.
There are so many options for what to order from the menu. All of them come with a touch of creativity, making sure you not only have good food but an experience.
For Ghattas, the ability to give you an experience was no easy task.
"So, this was a convenience store. When we first started The Sweet Spot, it was half convenience store, half desserts," Ghattas explained.
Then they took the plunge and made the entire store a dessert shop, but people weren't coming in.
"We would stand outside and hand out coupons, please come in, please come in. For three years, we didn't give up," she said.
Then, her pink dream took off.
"To stand here and think about, we have three locations, a fourth one that's getting ready to open next year, one that's getting ready to open in Miami. We're franchising. I don't even know how you digest this, you know?" Ghattas said.
It's even more of an incredible story when Ghattas shared her background.
"As an immigrant child, it is a big deal. My parents gave up a lot for us to come here. We started from nothing. None of us spoke English. We're in a completely different world," she said.
Then, she looked around her business: "To have this, and be able to actually employ people. People that their lives depend on your business, no words can explain it, genuinely. Anything is accomplishable through hard work. You have to have a dream," Ghattas said.
She says the ability to dream was instilled in her as a child. "My parents always encouraged us to work hard and you can achieve anything."
Now, she aims to teach the new generation that anything is possible.
"It doesn't matter where you come from, you can do it. Just work hard, and you'll have days where anxiety kills you, and stress drives you crazy. You know? There are days you don't want to get out of bed, but if you don't give into those, you can accomplish something beautiful."
And for Mery Ghattas, her something beautiful comes in a shade of pink and in dessert form at The Sweet Spot.
"I think my favorite part is when people walk in and go like this," she said, dropping her jaw imitating awe.
"You forget that that wall took you 70 hours to do, and the desserts took you 100 hours. It just, it becomes worth it. It's the look, yeah, I'll do it over and over again for this look."
The Sweet Spot has two locations currently. One on Providence Road in Virginia Beach, the second featured in this story on 1718 Atlantic Ave Virginia Beach. Expect more locations to open in Hampton Roads and across the country in the years to come.