• Emily Win

Community Highlight: Cakes By Kat

Have you ever taken a bite of a sugar cookie and been instantly disappointed with the taste, texture, and hundreds of calories wasted? Yeah, me too. The grocery store sugar cookie let down is a feeling I'm all too familiar with. However, when I bit into a sugar cookie from Cakes By Kat, my faith in sugar cookies was fully restored.

Cakes By Kat is a new bake shop based out of Dublin, Ohio, owned and operated by my childhood friend, Kat Barnett. Aside from mouth watering sugar cookies, this bake shop cranks out endless delectable goodies including macaroons, cupcakes, chocolates, cakes, cookie sandwiches, and so much more. When they aren't at a farmers market in the Columbus area, they are hard at work preparing custom orders for birthdays, weddings, reunions, and every day celebrations. The sweetest part about Cakes By Kat is their commitment to equality. Starting in January 2020, 5% of their profits from each quarter will be donated to Columbus-local nonprofits, including Equality Ohio, Mental Health America of Franklin County, the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio and the Women's Small Business Accelerator. They take a special interest in promoting women, LGTBQIA+ folks, and diversity in their creations and in their business.

Enticed by the sweets, I decided to check out what happens behind the picturesque Instagram posts. Not only did I get to learn how to decorate like a professional, but I also learned what kinds of painstaking jumps and hurdles small business owners have to go through to get themselves off the ground. After 48 hours with my friend, I witness the stamina, determination, and creativity of a 20-something come to life with each new batch of icing and clear plastic packaging bag. Y'all, this girl works hard. And you can taste her hustle and passion in every dessert she makes.

After a weekend of catching up and cookie conundrums, I returned to Toledo inspired. Inspired to do what? Well, first, eat more cookies. But more importantly, follow my short-term dreams. Deep into a night of making cookie footballs, Kat and I chatted about how to find direction and navigate life in our 20s. Up until now my life has felt very planned and calculated. Now that I'm floating in the mysterious "adult" life post-Masters (yes, I actually finished!), I've been seeking answers from random strangers and traffic lights (yes, that was absolutely a Lover reference). A condensed version of what she told me was to follow my short terms goals and instincts. I don't need to have an end-all be-all dream. I don't even need to know what my passion is. Using the example of how she started her bake shop from scratch in her apartment (pun intended), she explained how she had to figure out how to do something she's good at and somehow make money from it. In the end, we all have to make it work. Seeing her whip up edible masterpieces from scratch while maintaining a business and a social life allowed me to re-envision what my life could look like in the midst of (what feels like) chaos. And even though both of our lives have shifted and moved in ways we couldn't have dreamed up, making the choice to do something I'm proud of feels doable and delicious.

So, friends, the next time you need customized cookies, I would 10/10 recommend Cakes By Kat Bake Shop. Deciding to go with her is a choice to support a person who inspires others every day. At large, it's a choice to give back to the communities who are trying to build up women and queer folks alike. It is truly "where equality is sweet".

And I promise you, the melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookies are worth all of the calories.

You can check out her very aesthetically pleasing Instagram here and order treats from her website


Cover image captured by @sugarplumcreative