CLEVELAND — Empty chairs in a new location for any business normally is the sign of trouble. For A Cookie and A Cupcake, it’s the sign of coronavirus precautions.
“Oh my gosh, the street is a ghost town,” said A Cookie and A Cupcake owner SynDee Bergen.
“We’re used to having people coming non-stop through the door,” said Bergen.
With no idea when customers will be allowed back on the now-empty Ohio City streets and fewer orders coming in, Bergen realized she’d have to box up the fun people normally come into the store for and send it home.
Cupcake decoration kits, with changing themes, are helping families stay busy and have fun.
“For the younger kids, it gives them something to do that is a little bit more productive, motor skills, those kinds of things that are kind of important to do,” said Bergen.
For older kids and adults, the kits are a welcome break from work and homework.
When Bergen’s friend Dwayne Smith shared the idea in his Twinsburg community Facebook page, the response was swift.
“We had 44 kits sold in three hours,” said Smith. “My wife and I drove around for three hours and delivered them all to everyone who helped out.”
The kits cost $20 per box, meaning just that one set of orders was a nearly $900 windfall for A Cookie and A Cupcake.
“Hopefully, the more of those kits we get, the more staff we can bring back on to help them,” said Bergen.
Three full-time workers have already been laid off for now, with one coming back a few days each week to help out.
For now, tips come in the form of pictures showing completed cupcakes, or frosted evidence that a cupcake used to be there.
“Pictures of kids with frosting ear to ear, and some major awesome creations, people are really talented,” said Bergen.
At a moment when we don’t know when life will get back to normal, cupcake decoration kits are giving families a break from work, school, and worry.
“When you have something like that that you can do with your family, something a little bit different and do at home and have a nice bonding time as well as help a local business I think that’s huge,” said Smith. “That was a great memory that we’ll have of this whole, horrific, event.”
“We are the happy part of everyone’s day,” said Bergen.
Visit our "We're Open" page to see more stories of local businesses helping their community, as well as an interactive map and searchable database of open essential local businesses.