Twinsburg Township -- Whether it's one person with a sweet tooth or a business meeting with dozens of hungry mouths, Katie's Cheesecakes is ready to serve.
Launched in late November 2012, this home bakery combines original recipes and natural ingredients to create made-to-order desserts available for delivery from their kitchen to yours.
Founder and baker Katie White said she has always had a knack for baking, but her true talent lies with cheesecakes.
"I've always loved baking, but when I started, I actually was not so great at making your average, regular cake," White said. "But there's something about cheesecake that I actually was good at and enjoyed doing."
White is assisted in her business by her husband Samm, who designs her website and business cards. Though her official menu currently offers five varieties of cheesecake, ranging in price from $30-$43, White said her menu is growing with new ideas and experimentations.
"In the future, there will be more bakery items to be included like some specialty breads, gingerbread cookies and just a few other things that I'll be adding after I'm a little more established," White said.
Before deciding to open her home bakery, White had considered careers in teaching and catering. She attended the University of Akron from 1997-2000 for family and consumer science education, but decided that a career away from home would keep her from enjoying time with her family. With her business within arm's reach, White said she can focus on being a full-time mother for her sons Peyton, 3 and Brayden, 1.
"I always loved baking and cooking and things like that, but when I started to look into it when I was younger and thinking about a career and whatnot, I just found out that you are always away from your family at busy times of the year when you'd want to be with your family," White said. "Christmas, New Years, Easter ... those are busy times for caterers, so I kind of shied away from that."
Working with the Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce, White has been able to spread the word of her services and make connections to potential clients and partners. In December 2012, she donated her hand-made cheesecakes to the Chamber's Business Person of the Year luncheon, making dozens of potential consumers into current customers.
"She's been a pleasure [since she] has become a member of the Chamber [to] work with," Chamber executive director Abby Schroll said. "When we gave her the opportunity to do the dessert for our December luncheon, there were so many people there. She's been able to get some good connections through there."
Schroll said Katie's Cheesecakes is the first entirely home-based bakery with which the Twinsburg Chamber has worked, creating a unique challenge of promoting and branding the business.
"It was a very unique situation," Schroll said. "[White] comes to all of our events, she does a lot of networking, she does a lot of advertising through our newsletters. So, she's really been utilizing her time spent with the Chamber and working with us to get her name out there, because this is the first time that we've worked with a home bakery."
"They're great, I would recommend them to anybody -- any type of business, small or big," White said of the Chamber of Commerce. "They care about you being successful. I very much like working with them."
Continually tweaking her menu and brainstorming new desserts, White plans to offer two mini-heart cheesecakes covered in chocolate ganache and fresh strawberries for Valentine's Day. However, the regular menu has its share of sweet surprises as well.
"I would say my husband's recommendation is the chocolate chip cookie cheesecake," White said. "It's a crowd pleaser, a favorite. Kids love it and grown-ups love it because you've got cheesecake and you've got chocolate chip cookie. Who's not happy with that?"
White's full offering of products can be found at www.katiescheesecakes.com and she can be reached at 330-887-CAKE.