If you’ve ever gone to the Downtown Farmers Market on a really hot summer day, chances are good that you’ve been parched. After an hour or so at the market, nothing tastes better than an icy, cold, hand-shaken, limeade from Sweet Lake Limeade. You’ve seen them shaking fresh lime juice with cane sugar, ice, water and mint at the local markets for over eleven years.
This summer Hasen Cone, limeade slinger extraordinaire, is expanding beyond his market tent to open a brick & mortar restaurant Sweet Lake Biscuits & Limeade in the Ballpark area of Salt Lake.
“I opened the limeade stand because I didn’t want a ‘real’ job” said Cone, “but with only sixteen markets a year, even doing multiple markets it just wasn’t a steady enough stream of income to make it year round.” So, he started playing and developing recipes four years ago—with the idea in the back of his mind to eventually open something that could live beyond just market season.
“Biscuits and gravy were my morning go-to when I was a single guy. I’d always look for a way to make them just a little unusual. I spent years perfecting my biscuit recipe. So when it came time to create a menu, biscuits made the most sense. Our menu is unique and creative. Both comfortable and familiar with an approachable twist. We wanted it to be simple. Replicating the limeade stand. Still making it fresh,” added Cone.
I visited Sweet Lake Biscuits & Limeade on opening day, we talked a lot about the Downtown Farmers Market. I see local farmers markets as business catalysts for food purveyors that are just starting out, and when I asked Hasen about what role the market played in his growth, he was very definite.
“We wouldn’t be here without it. It was 100 percent the catalyst” said Cone. “I’m the type of guy that has a new idea every day, but doing the farmers market and seeing how ideas catch on and meeting other vendors and artists was the key to success. It taught me to hone my brand and tweak it over time. I learned the production, the theater, the recipes.”
Now, Sweet Lake Biscuits & Limeade is turning around and supporting other local purveyors. From Yardbarkin Hot Sauce to Tooele Valley Meats and Daily’s Bacon—they even get their wheat for the Conspiracy Cake Pancakes from Lehi Roller Mills, which they then grind fresh in-house.
Sweet Lake Biscuits & Limeade is located on 54 W 1700 South, SLC, UT and is open daily from 7 am – 3 pm. You can still find their limeade stand at the Downtown Farmers Market and the Heber Farmers Market.