By Ray Hom
As part of our mission, The Cleveland Observer seeks to uplift and support minority-owned businesses in or near Cleveland, Ohio.
I recently made plans with a neighborhood friend to meet for coffee and chat about a community project. He recommended meeting at The Bake Shop and Café at Tyler Village. To my surprise, I was introduced to this hidden gem at Tyler Village located at Superior and 36th Street. If you haven’t been, you need to stop in for breakfast and/or lunch or just meet up for coffee and pastries.
Upon entering the café, we were greeted with a smile and very friendly service by a person who just happened to be the café owner, Shawnda Moye. Her personality was infectious so I wanted to learn more about Shawnda and her Café. I had the opportunity to sit down with her and hear about her journey in opening the Café and running a small business in these challenging times.
History & Passion for Biscuits
Shawnda’s passion for baking started as a child when her mom taught her how to make peach cobbler. This included using fresh ingredients like fresh peaches and making the crust from scratch. She started making desserts all the time as a child in elementary school. She would always bake goods and ship her goodies to family and friends. Her baking continued throughout life when she decided to perfect her trade and worked at bakeries and cafes to learn the technique and trade secrets further.
She started her career in Sales and Ops Management after school, but she knew she always wanted to open a bakery and café. Shawnda grew up in Cincinnati, went to school in Tallahassee, FL, and lived in various places in the South. While living in the South, she noticed there were always great places to go for biscuits and biscuit sandwiches.
In 2015, she decided to move to Cleveland to work for a caterer and other restaurants to build a clientele for baked goods. She soon realized that homemade fresh breakfast sandwiches were hard to find in Cleveland, especially biscuit sandwiches. In 2019, Shawnda decided to start her business by doing pop-ups around town. Her new business, The Roaming Biscuit, started attracting a following with the pop-ups. She had to quickly get creative with the newfound popularity and used ghost kitchens and other partners to prep The Roaming Biscuit.
During the middle of the pandemic in June 2021, she found a café space that was available in Tyler Village. The space had everything she needed to open her business. The timing was perfect and she found a home with all the kitchen equipment in place and a perfect space with seating. She finally found a permanent home for her biscuits!
More importantly, there were no other breakfast sandwich locations in the neighborhood, so it was a perfect location to open The Bake Shop and Café.
Running a Small Business
Opening during the pandemic and staying open beyond challenges locally owned small and medium-sized businesses. Shawnda has survived the tough times and continues growing her business. I asked her what motivates and drives her success in today’s challenging times with the shortages in the workforce.
Shawnda does what she does because she’s passionate about preparing food for customers and seeing her customers’ complete satisfaction with her food and service. When that happens, she enjoys that ultimate feeling of success. Be it one person or the entire day, she leaves satisfied knowing that she has accomplished her mission. Food brings people together, and her goal is to have fun at the Café while providing great food for customers. That’s what happened to me on my first visit to the Café!
This may sound easy, but during these challenging times hiring, keeping, and motivating a talented team in the F&B industry is difficult. Shawnda feels it’s so important to ensure that you allow your team to use their creativity with menu items and trust that their creativity will be a hit on the menu. This creates a boost of confidence for each team member. As customers, it’s essential to provide feedback because when the feedback is positive, it creates confidence in the creativity.
Shawnda’s advice for running a business is to always keep pushing ahead with a positive attitude. If you put the hard work in, it will eventually pay off. Always focus on your customer service in order to be successful because returning customers are vital to your success. Finally, don’t try to be too trendy in your offering and stick to what you do best in your environment.
Supporting the Community
As a Black Woman Owned business, Shawnda tries to use her platform to showcase other businesses owned by women and people of color. She feels it is important to support others like her. She uses a network to get the word out and bring awareness to others.
In the Café, there is a wall of locally owned businesses that she shares with customers. She is able to promote other women-owned and/or black-owned businesses in the community. In addition, she seeks out vendors and partners to work within her networks such as Saucisson, a butcher shop, and The Home Pantry, both women-owned businesses. She also works with Adun Spices, a Black woman-owned business.
Shawnda feels it’s important to support these businesses which is why I feel it is important to highlight The Bake Shop and Café as we have a shared mission of uplifting and supporting minority-owned businesses.
About The Bake Shop and Cafe
The Bake Shop and Café uses all homemade ingredients serving delicious full Roaming Biscuit breakfast and lunch items, coffee, and a rotating menu of amazing pastries and desserts!
Specialties include all breakfast biscuits and biscuit sandwiches, the Curry Chicken on Naan, and homemade pastries and desserts.
Located in Tyler Village, 3615 Superior Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114.
Open daily 7am-2 pm, Closed on Weekends.
Available for dine-in or takeout, catering, and pop-up events.
Be sure to stop by and say hello to Shawnda and mention you read about her in The Cleveland Observer!