In celebration of Black History Month, we’ve decided to feature local businesses with Black ownership near our stores throughout the month of February. For our first feature, allow me to introduce Kathy Jo Miller. Kathy Jo, also known as KJ, is the owner and founder of KJ’s Bakery in Kent. Her sweet shop can be found on Central Ave., not too far from our South Renton location. Between more than 15 cupcake flavors, 20+ popcorn flavors, and over 10 different types of cocoa bombs, stopping by KJ’s Bakery better get added to your to-do list. (Especially with Valentine’s Day right around the corner!)
How it Started
KJ’s Bakery Sweet Shop opened its doors in October of 2019 after being an online business since 2016. The cake legacy of KJ’s family started long before that, though. “My mother and my grandmother baked decadent cakes for Sunday dinner. They passed down wonderful cake recipes like Red Velvet, Carrot Cake, and German Chocolate, to name a few,” KJ shared with us about what inspired her to open up shop. “I loved going to my grandmother’s house, and you could smell the wonderful, sweet aroma of cakes and pies as you approached the front door.” That same feeling comes through in the goodies offered at the bakery. Our store staff was lucky enough to experience KJ’s treats first hand with a special order during last year’s shopping season.
It’s not just the recipes that were passed down to her that’s made KJ’s Bakery a sensation, but also the business acumen she picked up from her uncle that’s contributed to her success. “I never imagined opening a bakery as a child, but I knew I would own a business one day. My Uncle Curtis was a business owner, and I worked at his moving company during the summer; and this was my first exposure to running a business. I was so intrigued with how he ran his operation.” Though not the first business endeavor for KJ, she cites KJ’s Bakery as her most successful one thanks to a simple recipe. “I attribute [the bakery’s success] to my Uncle, keeping my Mom’s and Grandmother’s love of baking in the forefront, and my love of entrepreneurship.”
Kent’s Sweet Secret
I asked KJ what her most popular products were, and the first answer seemed obvious given the craze right now – hot cocoa bombs! And oh man, check out the list of flavors! Easily place an order for hot cocoa bombs from KJ online by clicking here.
- White Chocolate Mocha
- Red Velvet
- Charm Charm Cereal
- Strawberry Milkshake
- Strawberry Burst
- Chocolate Milkshake
- Chai Tea
- Cinnamon Toast
- Chocolate Mint
- Salted Caramel Coffee
- Toffee Nut
- White Chocolate Peppermint
Alongside hot cocoa bombs, KJ told us their popular treats are “decadent cupcakes including Chicken and Waffles, Chocolate Strawberry Milkshake and Cookies and Cream and our Gourmet Popcorn.” No matter the craving you’ve got, you’ll find the perfect flavor mix at KJ’s Bakery sweet shop.
With the New Year underway, I had to ask KJ what her wish for 2021 is. Her answer is one I think that we all hope for this year. “My wish for 2021 is that as a nation we continue to drive for unity and less division and that we focus on understanding that every life matters regardless of color, religion, sexual orientation or race. Together we can accomplish great things as a country.”
Valentine’s Day No-Brainer
KJ’s bakery is bringing sweetness to 2021. Their Valentine’s day menu is up and they’re taking orders for anything you could imagine including cookie kits to decorate with your sweetie, all sorts of cupcakes, a sundae cake bomb meant for two, and so many other options!
KJ wanted to also include a heartfelt appreciation for our community. “As a small business owner, I am truly grateful for the support of my community, customers, and organizations that have supported my business and have featured us in the media. This exposure has helped to drive more awareness of my business and helped to keep my doors open. So, thank you thank you to everyone who has supported us and continues to support us. We appreciate it immensely.”
Browse through KJ’s Bakery to see what’s in store or place an order online to sweeten up your Valentine’s day with a delicious surprise.
Thank you for bringing an easy piece of happiness to the Kent/Renton community, KJ, and to your mother and grandmother for their handed down recipes that make the treats so satisfying.
Written by: Nikki Marangon