In November of 2014, Chad Seewald left his job, and with his wife Heather, opened Sweets So Geek on North Anthony Boulevard in Fort Wayne. Sweets So Geek is a bakery that creates unique cookies, cakes, and other confections, usually with a comic book or science fiction theme.
While their retail location only opened late last year, Sweets So Geek has slowly been growing from a hobby to a business since December of 2011. Chad gained experience making confections during his time working at a restaurant in Muncie. But in 2011, he created his now signature “Han Rolos,” to send as Christmas gifts to a community of online comic book aficionados. He got a very positive response from friends and a local toy store started selling the product.
Chad also generated some buzz by posting photographs of the creative cakes he would make for his children, Emma and Conner. To continue to be able to grow and get their unique creations out there, Chad and Heather decided to rent space at a local commercial kitchen. This move allowed them to start selling cakes for parties and weddings and at area comic book conventions.
Throughout this time, both Heather and Chad continued working full time jobs so Sweets So Geek was still more of a hobby than a business. But when the commercial kitchen they were renting closed due to unforeseen circumstances, they were forced to make a decision. They could give up what they had started or take the plunge and invest in Sweets So Geek as a full-time business.
Even though the thought of opening a retail space was a little scary, they couldn’t imagine giving up on all the momentum they had created. They had built relationships with customers and gained support from the community for what they were doing.
Brightpoint was pleased to be able to help the Seewalds realize their dream of becoming a full-fledged business. Through the Brightpoint Development Fund, Chad and Heather got a loan to help with marketing and capital expenses for their business.
When you visit the Sweets So Geek store, you find the epitome of a family business. Chad as the “Chief Chocolatier” is the creative force and face of the business. Heather helps with schedules and assists Chad. And their children, Emma and Conner, help with the register, talk with customers or, when there’s nothing else to do, play video games in the back.
Now, after almost a year in their shop on North Anthony, Chad and Heather have experienced many of the challenges common to small business owners. These challenges include things like fluctuating income, dealing with unexpected expenses, never really being “off work,” and various employee issues.
But while there have been the downsides, they have also seen their share of success. Chad credits this to changing their focus from a day to day retail space to a community-focused space. This can be seen by the hundreds of people who attend their outdoor movie events, the thousands of dollars they raised in their pie pan auction to help support a fellow small business owner diagnosed with cancer, and all the relationships they have built with employees and customers.
Brightpoint has been happy to help Sweets So Geek and many other businesses like them through our Small Business Loan Program. We encourage you to check out all the creative confections Sweets So Geek has to offer – from Butter Beer to Star Wars chocolates. They are located at 3410 North Anthony Blvd in Fort Wayne. And if you have a business that you would like help getting started or taking to the next level, give us a call at (260) 423-3546, ext. 563.