When it opened in August 2013, Sweet to Lick became Long Island’s first vegan bakery — no eggs, no butter, no milk, no animal products of any kind. Now owner Michael Sabet has pioneered another trend. He says his is the first Long Island bakery to accept bitcoins, the international digital currency launched in 2009.
“I have a lot of customers who could be described as techies and a few of them asked about paying with bitcoins," he said. "It was something I was watching and so last week I started accepting it.”
To determine prices, Sabet has a “wallet” device that converts dollars into bitcoins. It’s a very volatile currency: Today it started at $709 (per bitcoin), by the end of my conversation with Sabet it had risen to $724. At that exchange rate, a $3.75 cupcake costs .00518 bitcoins (or ?. 00518).
So far, Sabet said, he’s had two bitcoin transactions. And what does he do with all his bitcoins? None of his vendors accept them for payment (though he could use them at overstock.com) so his options are to convert them right back into dollars or save them. “I’m holding onto them,” he said. “It’s an investment.”
Practitioners of an ancient craft, bakers don’t tend to be technological innovators, but Sabet is always looking ahead. “I opened a vegan bakery because I think that meat- and dairy-free is the direction we’re going in," he said. "Same with digital currency. The future is here.”
Sweet to Lick Vegan Bakery is at 78 Hillside Ave., Williston Park, 516-385-8833, sweettolick.com.