Update: The shop remains open Tuesday through Saturday for takeout orders.
When Kathy Jo Miller was growing up in the South, she and her relatives would get together every Sunday after church for fellowship and food. These big family meals, which always included decadent desserts baked by her grandmothers and aunts, remain a fondly remembered part of her upbringing, and inspired her to begin baking for others in turn.
Miller’s very first order — 600 cake pops from a customer in Seattle — was just the beginning of her success as more and more people started to request her offerings. An engineering background and entrepreneurial mind eventually led her to open her own business.
KJ’s Cakery Bakery and Sweet Shop in Kent is a charming, cozy place that opened this past October.
Since then, the establishment has offered treats such as cupcakes (including some vegan options), the bestselling “sammies” (cookie sandwiches with different flavors of buttercream frosting in the middle) and the cake pops that started it all.
The fun doesn’t stop at baked goods. The business also sells an assortment of candy like Miller used to find at the penny store of her youth, as well as a panoply of popcorn flavors and several varieties of cotton candy.
PHOTO: JOSHUA HUSTON
Don’t forget about the candy at KJ’s.
Miller says that she wanted to create an “old-fashioned sweet shop where people would want to come with their kids.” As an added crowd pleaser, the treats are set against a backdrop made to look like multicolored sprinkles. You can order items individually or put a collection of items in your own sweet box to take home.
For birthday parties and other events, the shop takes custom orders as well. They’ve done everything from unicorn cupcakes to a Nerf cake to Marvel-themed creations. A cake pillow with a crown on it that Miller made was a particularly touching experience. The recipient was a young lady who had never had a birthday cake before, and she was so excited to receive it. “The joy on that little girl’s face … [things like that are] the most rewarding aspect.”
PHOTO: JOSHUA HUSTON
Custom cakes and cupcakes are the Cakery Bakery’s specialty.
The shop has hosted a class for kids and their parents to learn the craft of decorating, and Miller intends to add more classes in the near future for those little chefs in the making.
Starting in June, the shop plans to add ice cream to its menu in time for the summer. Planning some time away from the kids? Stay tuned for Miller’s grownups-only Cupcakes & Cocktails.
KJ’s Cakery Bakery and Sweet Shop, 204 Central Ave. N., #102, Kent; 253-277-2516.
Note: This article was originally published April 1, 2020, in Seattle’s Child.