CK Sweets Celebrates One Year in Business

One year ago today, January 18th, 2020, Cat Kania realized her life-long dream and opened a bakery and coffee shop, selling her incredibly home-made delicious cookies, cakes, muffins, doughnuts, fritters, cupcakes and more to what proved to be a very wanting and appreciative public. It was a cold and rainy Saturday morning and dozens of customers waited anxiously outside for the doors to open to sample some of Cat’s delectable baked treats they had heard so much about, mainly by word of watering mouth. Although the day still remains a vaguely remembered “whirlwind” to Ms. Kania, it foretold of what kind of support she could expect from the Swanton community.

“It was amazing to see all that support from the community and surrounding communities that came out to support us that day,” recalled Cat. And that support would continue for the next two months and then, as we all know, 2020 hit everyone like a Mack truck. Suddenly, a new and thriving business was facing the possibility of shutting it’s doors by order of the State of Ohio to help slow down an emerging deadly pandemic. “Going throughout 2020 was kind of rough. We had some rough spots where we weren’t sure if things were going to get better. It was kind of day by day trying to make it through,” said Cat. Fortunately, while indoor dining was suspended by Governor Mike DeWine, take out service was allowed to continue which kept the CK doors opened.

With one year under their belts, Cat and her husband and business partner Derek have a unique and grateful perspective. “Now, being open a year, it has been an amazing journey with so many friendships made and the customers who we look forward seeing them come in everyday,” reflected Cat. “It’s feeling a sense of love and support from the community. It’s been overwhelming. It’s very humbling to see how much people wanted us here and are happy to have us here. We love being that spot that everyone comes to have a cup of coffee and meet with a friend you haven’t seen in a while or sit and do work for a couple of hours each day. It’s been amazing and we’re very thankful and blessed. It’s been a long year but a very fulfilling year”

This is the first major venture into the business world for Cat and Derek and it should also be pointed out that they are both Master Sergeants serving in the security unit of the 180th Tactical Fighter Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard based at Toledo Express Airport. Cat believes their military background has been a significant contributor to their business success. “Both of us being in the military has kind of helped us in ways with leadership and organization and structure, making sure everything is done in a specific way with consistency and attention to detail,” she explained.

As difficult as 2020 was, the beginning of 2021 may be just as challenging. The pandemic may be at it’s peak, the economy is still struggling and, to make matters worse, MSGT Derek Kania was recently deployed with a return date scheduled for sometime this summer. It is a sacrifice known all too well to the Kanias and their daughters with both Derek and Cat deployed multiple times over the years. It is a sacrifice we should all appreciate and be grateful for and one to contemplate while we sit and relax in CK Sweets with a cup of coffee and anything from Cat’s kitchen.

Pictured: Cat Kania and her amazing CK Sweets staff (L to R) Amber Never, Julianne Holtsberry and Hanah Faber.

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