Coming from a close-knit family, sibling owners Arita and Andre Matini grew up seeing firsthand what it was like behind the counter at the family’s first successful shop, Sweet Stuff located on Old Dominion Drive. After both siblings graduated from college they decided to follow in their mother’s footsteps to fill a niche that was needed in a town they grew up in, which was honest food that was fresh, fast, and healthy.
In 2009, at the ages of just 22 and 27, Arita and Andre set out to create what they had always envisioned, a community café offering only the freshest ingredients (many of the vegetables are even grown in the garden right outside of the McLean sweetleaf), with a variety of choices to create the perfect custom sandwich or salad using organic Leafs and hand-made bread. Flavorful home-made soups and sweets ranging from cookies to milk shakes are all beautifully displayed before you.
The design concept of sweetleaf reflects what the business is truly all about – family, community, love for food, and a passion for freshness. As an Interior Design Major Arita’s design concept was inspired by creating a family-friendly atmosphere that was warm and inviting. Where everyone can feel welcome, embracing their mother’s vision of being a part of a tight-knit community where strangers leave as friends.