By: Taiyana Levy (Senn Sophomore)
Introducing Edge Of Sweetness (6034 N Broadway), a locally owned bakery, providing Edgewater with great smells, amazing service, and beautiful decor.
It’s a nice place to enjoy a coffee or pastry while getting some work done or just to get peace of mind.
Located on the corner of Norwood and Broadway, Edge of Sweetness opened its doors in April 2017. For newcomers, they serve breakfast, lunch, and sweet treats. They have veggie and gluten-free options, and their drinks and pastries are loved by the local community.
The owner and CEO, Kate Merrill, says her inspiration for the bakery was what she calls her “midlife crisis.”
“I’m a nurse by career and baking and giving to other people was just something I enjoy doing,” Merrill said. “It’s more of making personal connections with people in my nursing world. I was impacting people’s lives because I was in the ICU when I worked in a trauma unit and now I’m able to do that with the human soul. I started selling my food because it tasted really good and it just kind of grew from there.”
Starting the bakery felt more like a calling for her.
“It wasn’t something I was compelled to do but wanted to do,” Merrill said. “I wanted to have a bakery. I wanted to sell my stuff. I was very happy with what I was doing, but it was a nagging feeling of ‘Oh, I think I need to do this’.”
Though Kate Merrill is the owner and CEO of Edge of Sweetness, she refers to it as a family establishment. Her husband and three children “are all very involved.”
“You couldn’t be anywhere without family support,” she said.
Kate plans to pass the bakery on to her kids. “I want them to do what they want to do with it,” Merrill said. “I think my daughter will be excellent here, but she may have other aspirations. I would love for them to say that they wanted it, but if they don’t then that’s okay.”
While working with family is rewarding, Kate noted that not all aspects of running a small business are easy. Specifically, she talked about the toughest challenges of running a bakery and the ways COVID affected the establishment.
“The toughest challenge probably any business will tell you is staffing,” Merrill said. “Getting new staff when you need it, especially throughout the pandemic was very difficult.”
They lost a lot of their corporate staff, which hurt them a lot.
“Nobody wants to work,” Merrill said. “And if they do, they’ve been off for a couple of years. So they might get tired easily. We need professional adults, who will hold themselves accountable. I shouldn’t have to stand around and watch them.”
While largely a challenge, COVID helped introduce Edge of Sweetness to more of the neighborhood.
“People were staying home, staying in the neighborhood walking around,” Merrill said. “They may have been living in Edgewater for years, but never got out to really explore. We were introduced to a lot of our local customers by them deciding to stay close to home. A lot of them are our regulars now.”
Merrill said she always tries to find the good in negative situations.
“It was a big challenge I certainly don’t want to go through again, but at least I gained something from it.”