OWOSSO — The shop interior is still being renovated but it won’t be long before Cupcakes and Kisses opens at 210 S. Washington St., in the space formerly occupied by the Bagelman.
The bakery’s freshly painted pink doors are expected to swing open sometime in early April, coinciding with springtime cravings for such sweet treats as cookies, cakes, sweet rolls, ice cream sundaes and shakes — and cupcakes, of course.
“We’re getting really excited,” Kam Barnett, 7, declared. “Things are working out.”
Kam, son of owners Toni and Kevin Barnett, is the designated dishwasher. His sister, Kendra, 13, decorates all the cakes. Their siblings Koby, 9, and Kora, 14, also work alongside their parents.
“We run the business as a family,” Toni Barnett said moments after Kam gave a visitor a tour of the spacious store, which features a large seating area for customers and curved counter that’s being built by the husband-and-wife team.
The Barnetts — who live in Grand Blanc, where the kids are home-schooled — aren’t starting from scratch. Four years ago, they opened a Cupcakes and Kisses in Holly that’s taken off in a big way.
Using Toni Barnett’s grandmother’s baking methods and recipes haven’t hurt the shop’s upward trajectory.
“I love to bake, and I still bake like my grandmother,” Toni Barnett said. “I use real cream, sugar, butter and eggs. When you walk in, it will smell wonderful.”
The Owosso bakery will offer special orders and event catering, including weddings, showers and open houses. For walk-in customers, there’s fresh-brewed coffee, WiFi, freshly made cinnamon rolls and a dessert of the day.
One section of the store, “Two Chics and a Scoop,” will serve as a full-service ice cream dispensary, with hard-scoop ice cream for cups or cones, sundaes and shakes.
Cupcakes and Kisses will purchase the ice cream from a vendor, she said, but not the special flavors. Brownie and chocolate chip sundaes, for example, will be made with store-baked brownies and chocolate chip cookies.
The shop’s menu also includes flour-less and vegan goods. Aprons, rice bags and dog scarves made by seamstress Lynnette Bailey of Goodrich, owner of Custom Creations, will be sold out of the shop.
Kevin and Toni Barnett both worked as nurses for years before seeking a “job-optional” lifestyle, she said. Following her gig as a high-level medical executive, for which she traveled across the country with her husband and kids, real estate became the Barnett family’s main source of income.
That’s how they found the building for their store in Holly, and how they discovered Owosso, by purchasing a house in the city.
“There’s a lot of people here, and good people,” Koby said, “and we’re already getting lots of love.”
Toni Barnett agreed, saying she is already indebted to several fellow downtown businesses whose owners have helped them gain a foothold in Owosso in different ways: Myrtle’s Handmade Chocolates, Foster Coffee, and Jumbo’s Burgers and Brew.
She said Cupcakes and Kisses wants to be a vital part of the Owosso community.
“We love for our businesses to be an impact on the community,” she said. “We want our light to shine on the community. We’re going to give back as much as we’re given.”
Big plans lay ahead. There’s a cupcake-decorating class the Barnetts hope to start. They also aim to open 19 Cupcakes and Kisses in coming years. Their children say they can hardly wait to run their own bakeries one day.
To start out, the Owosso store’s hours will be 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
For details about Cupcakes and Kisses, and photos of Barnett-baked creations, find “Cupcakes and Kisses Owosso” on Facebook.