by: Tony Thomas Updated:
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - We often hear of new businesses struggling in today’s economy, but one Lawrenceville business has so many customers its operator isn't sure what to do.
The bakery is the dream of Tempa Kohler. Her goal is not only to bake some awesome treats, but give her special needs son and other adults a place to learn and be productive. She said business has been so good, it's almost too much.
Customers have been flocking to Special Kneads and Treats ever since it opened six weeks ago. It's set up as a non-profit, but has all the appearances of a normal bakery.
“The people just keep coming and coming,” Kohler said. “I always thought we would get a building, build it from the ground up, we would be kind of offset and no one would be there and we would be begging people to come in.”
But when the Kohler's found the building on the Lawrenceville Square, the equipment was already there and they hit the ground running.
Kohler and one paid employee work alongside special needs adults. Kohler’s son Bradley does the dishes.
“I just like coming to work every day, it's very nice for me,” Bradley said.
Tory Bell can usually be found near the front.
“I sit at the window and greet people and tell them, ‘Welcome to Special Kneads and Treats,’” Bell said.
For now, the Kohlers plan to keep making the chocolate covered popcorn, cakes and cupcakes by the dozen, while at the same time teaching and caring along the way.
“I could definitely put 25 to 50 kids to work today. [And the business is there?] The business is there. Everybody needs a cake,” Kohler said.
“I work here because I love all the people around me, cause I'm a people person,” said worker Blake Sutterfield.
Kohler said she's already had customers asking when she plans on expanding this concept to other parts of the metro area. She said she can't even imagine that right now.