By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Jan 19, 2023 at 11:02 AM Photography: Lori Fredrich

For nearly 30 years, the building at 1208 E. Brady St. was home to Brewed Cafe (originally Brewed Awakenings). But this week, the longtime cafe officially welcomed a new tenant.

Sweet Joy Brazilian Cafe officially swung open its doors on Tuesday, Jan. 17, offering guests a menu of coffee drinks and Brazilian snacks and sweet treats.

Sweet Joy exteriorX

Cafe owner, Marcia Joy, is a native of Brazil who began making homemade brigadeiros (traditional Brazilian truffles) when she left Brazil 25 years ago and moved to Germany. 

“That’s where my passion began,” Joy says, though she says that making the confections remained a hobby until 2016 when she began selling the chocolates online and at farmers markets under the business name Sweet Joy. 

Prior to opening her own cafe, Joy worked for a variety of local businesses including Tabal Chocolate, where she honed her bean to bar chocolate experience and hosted brigadeiro-making classes. She also picked up work at Artisan 179 and i.d. in Delafield where she served as pastry chef. To supplement her income, she also used her background in nutrition to work as a personal chef. 

“I always say that it was a blessing… that Brady Street chose me,” says Joy, who notes that she began looking for a space to open a cafe about a year ago and felt lucky to be chosen from a pool of numerous applicants for the Brewed Cafe space.

Marcia Joy waiting on a customer
Owner, Marcia Joy, waiting on a customer

“I want this to be a place where people can enjoy a bit of quiet, peaceful time,” she says, “And experience Brazil in a new way. I created it to be a bit more international, but I want it to be a place for everyone.”

Step inside

Step inside the cafe and you’ll find a bright, welcoming environment with hardwood floors, lush green walls and myriad plants, along with a bossa nova playlist in the background.

Coffee counterX

The ordering counter, which is decorated with coffee mugs filled with Arabica coffee plants, features cases filled with baked goods and sweets.

A counter area near the door will eventually provide a work-space where Joy will make a variety of confections, complete with a grinder she uses for fresh cacao nibs.

Candy counterX

Seating options include lounge-style and bench seating in the adjacent dining room, along with bits of Brazilian art on the walls.

Lounge seatingX

But there are also tables and window-side seating to accommodate single diners or groups of two or four, along with a hanging swing that could well be perfect for a bit of afternoon reading.

Swinging chair in dining areaX

Brazilian treats

On the menu, guests will find a nice selection of coffee and espresso-based drinks made with beans from Ruby Coffee Roasters, along with seasonal tea offerings. Food items include acai-based smoothies and bowls, plus savory all-day breakfast items like avocado toast and misto quente, a classic Brazilian sandwich featuring ham, cheese and garlic butter or sweet mustard (priced $7.95-$9.50).

Casual snacks include pão de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread) or Sweet Joy’s Brazilian Mix, a combination of five pastry bites with fillings including esfiha (minced beef), mini hot dogs, joelho (ham and cheese) and chicken croquettes ($7.95).

Latte with a guava and cream cheese pastry
Latte with a guava and cream cheese pastry

Muffins, coffee cake, cookies, cake slices, brownie bites and guava and cream cheese pastries are also on offer with most priced between $4.20-$8.45. Looking for pastries to bring back to the office? Sweet Joy offers assortments by the dozen ($45.80) as well as bulk coffee ($20).


And yes, guests can also pick up brigadeiros, which are available in packages of six or more (up to 24 pieces), priced $8.75-$34.85.


Joy says she expects the menu to evolve as time moves forward.

“There will be some surprises to come,” she says, noting that she will be showcasing weekend specials at the cafe, as well as new offerings.

Sweet Joy Brazilian Cafe is open Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.