By Kady Weddle
A single mother of two and work-hard entrepreneur, Karen Ellis opened the doors to her brick-and-mortar bake shop, Karen’s Kakes, on February 5th with a soft opening – selling out in only three hours. Located at 12915 7th Street in Grandview, Karen offers an impressive 83 flavors of cakes in all different fashions.
“The demand has been mind-blowing,” said Ellis. “The chocolate isn’t even dry before people start grabbing cupcakes off the shelf.”
Ellis started her home-based bakery in 2015 when her younger brother fell ill and only a few years after her grandmother had passed due to cancer. After being let go from her corporate recruiting job after requesting only two days off to care for her family, Ellis knew she had to make a change.
Having experienced cooking with her grandmother since she was only 11 years old, Ellis’ original brainchild became ‘Cakes in a Jar’. After being turned down by a handful of local distributors, using her grandmother’s recipes, Ellis decided to take to social media and market the creation herself – earning $5,000 in just the first month.
Named after her grandmother (not after herself as you might expect), Karen’s Kakes pays homage to the woman who set the whole thing in motion.
“Everything I do in my business I do for her,” said Ellis. “I would not be half the woman, business owner, mother I am today if it had not been for my grandmother. Why wouldn’t I want to be reminded of the times that we shared?”
After suffering a head injury in a previous job, Ellis still experiences symptoms of a concussion and whiplash. Having to depend on her daughter more as a result, Ellis keeps the baking tradition alive by passing on trade secrets and recipes.
“My daughter knows our recipes by heart,” said Ellis. “It’s a struggle for me because I’m so used to juggling the world. But I have wanted this for so long that I am pushing myself beyond my limits. I know how hard I worked to get where I am and I’m not going to take any of this for granted.”
Ellis has big goals for her cakes, hoping to eventually be a staple in every local grocery store or distributor.
Karen’s Kakes is open Wednesday- Friday from 10am-7pm and Saturday from 10am-6pm. For more information or to place an order you can visit her Facebook page or call (816) 704-1804.