FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – GK Baked Goods has been in business since 2015 when its owner, Fort Wayne native Grace Kelly May, returned home after studying and working across the country as a classically trained pastry chef.
Grace admits running a bakery was never in her plans, but eight years later her successful business has expanded in multiple ways. Her latest venture sits at the corner of Harrison and Berry in downtown Fort Wayne: GK Café and Provisions.
“There is something so special about Fort Wayne and it’s really cool to be part of the revitalization and creating this hospitality scene that wasn’t always here growing up,” she said.
The café and grocery store opened in mid-February to great enthusiasm from the Fort Wayne community. In fact, community and collaboration were top of mind in creating this new space, Grace said.
Not only can people grab one of the famous GK cinnamon rolls, hand-made pastries, and lattes made with local ingredients, they can also buy locally-grown fresh produce and dairy products, as well as household items like laundry soap and medicine.
“You can kind of get what you were kind of missing in the downtown environment for a long time,” said Grace. “But it’s really great that we’re also able to work with so many local people and create a space that they can have a retail spot in downtown.”
Content Creator Katie Jo, who has worked for Grace since 2019, says keeping local dollars in the community is important to sustain and grow the local business marketplace.
“To be able to come to a local business and not just support the one local business but to support multiple local businesses in one location is really awesome,” she said.
The space itself was also designed to be inclusive and offer residents a relaxed environment.
“I like to be the voice that’s like ‘hey is this accessible for anyone?’ and I do think this is an accessible space,” said Katie Jo. “I think that anyone would be comfortable here and find something that they can enjoy.”
“Families bring their kids here, we have highchairs, really great tables where you can spread out and enjoy with your family members or friends,” said Grace. “We have walls of USB cords and plugs if you wanna come work here for a day. We really tried to think of everything.”
Everything, including convenience. Downtown Fort Wayne has been without a grocery store for decades. Grace says she and her team were excited to offer that option once again, albeit on a smaller scale than a typical grocery. Customers are just as pleased.
“I work downtown, and when you pass from my work to my home, I don’t pass anywhere where I can pick up fresh produce, milk, soymilk, any of that so this being open until 7 is amazing because you can stop by, park in the garage, grab everything you need, and get home. It’s the perfect stop,” said Annie Hope who admits she frequents the café for her go-to drink, a Red Eye.
GK Café and Provisions currently employs about 25 people including bakers, baristas, and check out workers.
What’s next for Grace Kelly May and her business? She would love to open another location in the future and expand her pastry offerings.
“This is just a starting point for us, we’ll never be done,” she said, smiling.
GK Café and Provisions is open 7-days a week. Hours are:
Monday-Saturday: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
You can visit the GK Baked Goods website for more information on the bakery, GK Café and Provisions, catering options, and more.