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Rocky River bakery serving sweet treats after shutdown

Posted at 5:50 PM, Jun 19, 2020

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio — If Sue Johansen had a catchphrase, it might be, “Cake is a happy thing.”

The owner of Wild Flour Bakery waited patiently for Governor Mike DeWine to give the go-ahead for shops to reopen.

"Our community is so supportive of us and they step in just to say hello and grab a cookie,” she said as she stood smiling in front of her well-stocked pastry case. "It does my heart good to see everybody again, even if it's just to say hello."

The round top, glass-fronted case showed off the bakery’s newest offerings.

"We're really leaning towards individualized desserts right now,” she said. Wild Flour bakery has called Rocky River home for the last 20 years.

On this day, Andrew Carroll assembled mini bananas foster desserts for a local nursing home. The jars could fit in the palm of Carroll’s hand, making it perfect for one person.

About a dozen people stopped by between 1 and 2 p.m. selecting small desserts for the weekend. The brownies and pastries are moving quickly but Johansen said sales of larger cakes slowed down.

"I think we have already postponed about 75 weddings so far,” she said. “When this all started, couples were postponing their weddings until the fall. Now we're seeing they're postponing (until) next year."

Right now, the bakery has been able to accommodate the new dates in 2021, but her calendar is already filling up.

In peak wedding season, bakers there average 15 cakes per weekend.

“Our record is 27 cakes in one weekend,” she said noting it was over a three-day holiday break.

Her earliest scheduled wedding post-shutdown is at the end of the month.

“July is still pretty well booked,” she said without having to look at her calendar. “It’s very uplifting.”

Wedding season is big business for the small shop. The bakery’s website said it sells about 90,000 pieces of cake each year because of its wedding clients.

During the shutdown, Johansen and her team worked to keep the business going and plan ahead. Right now, she does not have to raise prices to make up for lost revenue.

“We’ve been very fortunate in that,” she said.