Running your own business can be a pretty sweet deal, and in Sarah Petro's case, it is doubly so. Petro founded Sugar Sugar, a baking business, in March 2015 in her Pelham Road home, and business is booming.
"I love to bake cupcakes," Petro said. "I am self taught. I tried many, many recipes, until I found some great ones. I have eight children, so I have lots of tasters."
"Cupcakes are small, beautiful, almost instant gratification," she said. "And I love cake."
"If you are going to eat a cupcake, I want it to be fantastic," Petro said. "One of life's greatest pleasures [is sugar]. I am careful with what I eat, and if I am going to have something special, I am going to make sure it is really good."
Sugar Sugar offers 12 "basic, tried, and true flavors" of cupcakes, according to Petro.
"This is just a hobby. I love to bake, and it started getting to the point people would say 'I'll pay you,'" Petro said. "I knew if I stuck with what I am good at, and make it the best I can, I'd be very successful," she said.
An Economics major in college, Petro also emphasizes customer service. "Besides taste, it my number one priority," she said. "I want to do whatever I can to make (the customer) happy."
Petro's philosophy is apparently a recipe for success, as the business has grown steadily, primarily by word of mouth. There has been no glitzy marketing plan and no storefront. The double oven in Petro's home has been her workhorse.
"We are on Facebook and Instagram," she said. "We have had such success already, and repeat business. It has been snowballing. It is wonderful."
"I have a customer from Ottawa Hills who has bought yearly for a meeting in Defiance. Because of that, I now have a new client who drives more than an hour to pick them up," Petro said. "Another client I met at a [University of] Michigan football game, and she hired me to do her daughter's wedding in Grand Haven, Mich. They have come back two more times and ordered from me."
She has also fulfilled orders of 30 dozen cupcakes for a graduation party.
"I can do any amount," she said.
In March Petro made 1,800 mini muffins for the Ottawa Hills Elementary School program "Muffins with Mattisse."
Demand is so great, the business expanded recently. Lynn Doty, a member of the Ottawa High School class of 1985, moved back to northwest Ohio last summer, and has teamed up with Petro. Doty's specialties include cookies, brownies, torts, and cheese cakes, among other delectable goodies, all of which are now offered by Sugar Sugar.
In time, the pair would like to expand, possibly adding a dessert truck or mobile bakery, but that is a ways down the road, according to Petro. For the time being, Petro is focused on a more pressing matter.
"I'm getting a new 60-inch range and oven," she said. "I am so nervous. I know how my (current) ovens work. I know how my recipes work in my old ovens. I'll have to bake a bunch of cupcakes (in the new oven) until I am comfortable."