Passion for baking fulfills desire to open a business

Sackett Avenue business will open doors March 10

Phil Keren
Kent Weeklies
Kimberly Nader, owner of Kneaded Breads & Confections, stands inside her bakery on Sackett Avenue in Cuyahoga Falls.

CUYAHOGA FALLS — Kimberly Nader said baking has been "my Zen."

"If I'm having a bad day, I just go to the kitchen," said Nader, a Ravenna resident who is set to open a bakery called Kneaded Breads and Confections at 1300 Sackett Ave. in Cuyahoga Falls in the upcoming week.

Kneaded will have a soft opening on March 8 followed by the grand opening on March 10.

Nader said she's always had a passion for baking. 

"No matter where I've been in my life, the ups and downs, I've always had baking to go back to," said Nader. "…"It's always been something I really enjoyed."

She noted she associates baked goods with celebrations such as birthday parties.

"I don't know many people who get a baked good for a negative reason," said Nader, who is a graduate of Ravenna High School.

She added she "had a lot of doubt" about starting her own business for a "long time." While working as a kitchen manager at A&W in Kent, she decided to try to become her own boss. Setting an example for her children — ages 14 and 12 — was a motivating factor.

"I need to show the kids that they can do more with their lives and you can do what you want to do," said Nader. "If you have a dream, you should go for it. You shouldn't just talk about it."

Nader said she quit her job as a kitchen manager at A&W in November 2019, started saving money and began selling her baked goods at events throughout Northeast Ohio.

"Every time I went [to an event], I would sell out," said Nader.

She also found a couple places that were interested in selling some of her baked goods. Tree City in Kent sells Nader's brownies and cinnamon rolls, and Sub Stop in Newton Falls sells her brownies.

"That's been very helpful because that gets the word out, too," said Nader.

Kimberly Nader, owner of Kneaded Breads & Confections, with her husband, John, inside her new Sackett Avenue bakery in Cuyahoga Falls.

Cuyahoga Falls site 'a nice location'

Nader said she saw an ad for the space on Facebook Marketplace. She visited the site, spoke with the landlord about renting the spot and was selected among several others who looked at the property.

"It's such a nice location because I love the residential feel," said Nader. "…I see couples walking, holding hands…walking their dog. Everyone's really friendly."

She added she felt the area of Cuyahoga Falls that she will operate from is a "very strong, well-rounded, tight-knit community."

A different bakery called Oh So Sweet was previously located in the building, but Nader said she and her husband, John, have changed the look through a painting project. Oh So Sweet relocated to Chestnut Boulevard.

She added she does not see herself as competing with Oh So Sweet and other bakeries in the city.

"I would love to meet the other owners and learn from them," said Nader. "They inspire me."

Nader said her two children will help her out and she noted she wants to promote a family-friendly atmosphere to her customers.

"I want them to feel like this is a homey place," said Nader.

Unique offerings

She said the bakery will offer unique items such as pies on a stick, more than 40 flavors of jelly —including Dr. Pepper and Mountain Dew — and many varieties of breads such as sourdough, multi-grain and pumpernickel.

"I want to stand out as a different type of bakery," said Nader.

An eclectic item on the menu is salt-rising bread, which is made from a different type of bacteria other than yeast. Nader said the bread is an Appalachian settlers' bread that has a "good, distinct flavor."

There is not currently a dining area, but Nader said if business goes well, she will expand her operation into an adjacent space and have a dining room.

Due to COVID-19, there will only be six people allowed inside the shop at one time. She is planning to offer curbside pickup, but there will not be drive-through service. At the moment, Nader said, it will be just she and her husband working in the shop and added she wants to get a feel for the business before she starts hiring.

Appreciative of community's help

Noting there is no instruction manual on starting a business, Nader observed, "you have to ask for help."

She said she felt people often do not follow their dreams because they do not know how to go about realizing their aspirations.

"Don't let the 'I don't know' be an excuse to not follow your dream," Nader said. "…We're here only a short time. Don't waste it saying 'I don't know,' because then one day you're going to wonder 'what if?'"

As she prepares to unlock the doors, Nader is looking forward to doing what she loves. With all of the work involved with opening a business, she said she has not had as much time to bake. 

"I can't wait to bake," said Nader. "I love it. It's not really a job to me."

She added she is "really thankful" to everyone who has helped her through the numerous steps she's taken to open the business.

"I really couldn't have done it without everyone," said Nader.

Kneaded will be open Wednesday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and by appointment on Monday and Tuesday.

The website address is https://kneaded-breads-and-confections.ueniweb.com/. The phone number is 330-310-4787.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at pkeren@thebeaconjournal.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.