FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The COVID-19 pandemic forced a lot of businesses to rethink their game plan. That has led to three local confectioners teaming up to give your sweet tooth a new happy place.
During the pandemic, baker Krysta Young shut down her Sassie Cakes storefront to the public to lower the risk of getting COVID and having to cancel on weddings. Shutting her door opened her up to a new opportunity.
“I wasn’t using all that kitchen space, and so I was approached and asked if I would be interested in possibly sharing my kitchen space with another baker,” Young said.
What was originally a temporary plan to share kitchen space evolved into a more permanent future as a shared kitchen. Madison Avenue Chocolates officially moved into the space in February with Bakerson Pie Company joining on Thursday. The businesses are branding their Broadway storefront as a “happy place” that satisfies almost any sweet tooth while giving the trio a more cost-effective way to sell their products.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to look at ways to both save on costs, and build awareness among crossing our customer bases and affiliate with wanting chat with each other and work together on what our vision is for each of our businesses,” said Angie Harrison, owner of Bakerson Pie Co.
Madison Avenue Chocolates owner Jaidyn Foust said one of the most beneficial parts of the arrangement for her has been the guidance from seasoned business owners as her business has made the transition from a side-gig to a full-time job.
“Krysta has been like a mentor to me and getting sure that I’m actually making money, and I’m making products that people love,” said Foust. “Through that whole process, like, I’ve just become a lot more well-rounded with what I’m doing and I’m offering products that I never would have dreamed of creating before.”
As of Thursday all three businesses are up and running in the shop. While they have certainly been exciting for this new chapter for their brands, Young said it hasn’t all been smooth sailing as they have adjusted to running three sweet treat businesses out of one space but they say the positives have far outweighed the negatives.
“I think all of us have been really, really open with each other and just really been able to compromise and listen to each other’s needs really well,” said Young. “The space issue has been somewhat challenging, but it’s been working actually better than I anticipated.”
“It’s a great kind of a win-win for each of us to share space to promote what we do is female business owners together and to just keep building on what we’ve already started,” added Harrison.
Plus, while the businesses each continue to draw in their own loyal customers, Foust said the move has effectively brought their individual customer draw together, raising awareness for all of their brands.
“That’s just the awesome, most incredible thing to see because not only are they supporting Krysta and Angie, but now I’m starting to meet their client base,” said Foust. “They’re all just incredible people and they all just want to share the love and you know, just really be supportive.”
The move also brings two more businesses to Broadway, continuing the growth the area has seen with the recent additions of West Central Coffee and Davey’s Delicious Bagels as well as Hopscotch House Toy Shop and the development on the Electric Works campus.
“That’s been really exciting and I really am happy with the timing of all of it, because it all I think happened all at the same time,” Young said. “It wasn’t planned that way but sometimes things just fall into place the way they need to and I feel like this little section of Broadway is a perfect example of things kind of shut down, but it allowed a for bigger, better things to happen that I don’t think would have happened had we not gone through this last year of all those really tough COVID days.”
Sassie Cakes, Madison Ave. Chocolates and Bakerson Pie Co. are open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.