Bakery credits taxpayer-supported market and late-night show for first store
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A Cedar Rapids bakery, Shawnniecakes, is crediting the exposure it received from the NewBo City Market and the Late Show with Stephen Colbert for helping it grow into its first storefront at Collins Community Credit Union.
The NewBo City Market is a taxpayer-supported nonprofit, which helps small businesses grow in Cedar Rapids. The market, which was established after the Flood of 2008, has helped 15 business owners open brick-and-mortar shops in the last 10 years.
LeShawn Smith, who owns Shawnniecakes, said the market was helpful to grow her bakery into the storefront because it put her in a community of other small businesses that helped each other. She also said the market helped her get more exposure for her business along with an appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Smith said the new storefront created new challenges, but she believes she can handle those difficulties after spending time at the market.
Julie Parisi, who is the executive director for NewBo City Market, said the nonprofit helps businesses from offering reduced rent, childcare stipends and a place to work on the business. She said Shawnniecakes is a success story for the nonprofit because its goal is to serve as an incubator for businesses.
“It’s super exciting,” Parisi said. “Anytime one of our business owners makes a move like this, we’re thrilled to see it.”
Crews for the market were seen painting over the pink walls as they prepared Shawnniecake’s old space in the market for a new business.
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