Hot Honey Bakery serves up a mix of sweet and savory

Katie Lowe, owner of Hot Honey Bakery, says she started her business accidentally this past May after some of her baked treats took off on social media. 

A stay-at-home mother of two children, Lowe was initially just looking for ways to bring in a little extra cash, and she wasn’t expecting to own a business so quickly.

“... I decided to bake some cupcakes for my cousin’s birthday and posted about them on social media,” says Lowe, whose grandmother taught her how to bake. “After seeing the post, one of my friends asked me to make them for her birthday ... I started thinking that maybe I should try this."

Lowe says she has always enjoyed art and wanted to own a coffee shop but thought it might be too difficult to start.

"So, my husband said, 'Why don’t you just start a bakery?" I started looking into how to have a home bakery, then cautiously did a trial run to see how it would go and posted it on the local Facebook page for New Carlisle.”

Lowe figured it wouldn't get much attention, but someone ordered from her post and wrote a positive review about her ‘amazing’ strawberry bread.

“About 25 minutes after she picked up the order, she tagged me in a post and said how much she enjoyed it. Immediately, her post just blew up, and she wrote a really nice review,” Lowe says. “So, I took it a little further and did a Facebook business page. Almost instantly, I had 200 Likes, and it just kept going from there.

"I never anticipated it would take off the way it did. Every single week since I started (May 11) has been sold out.”

Lowe’s Hot Honey Bakery menu comprises a variety of homemade goodies, including oatmeal cream pies, cheesecake cookies, as well as fruit and dessert breads. And while the sweet strawberry and blueberry breads are popular, she also does artisan-style savory breads, including cheese jalapeno cheddar, bloody Mary, and garlic parmesan. And of course, no bakery is complete without cupcakes, cakes, and cookies.

Lowe posts the weekly menu on her Facebook page, for customers to order and schedule a pickup time. Deliveries can be arranged when necessary.

“I schedule all the orders, and I like to give myself a week because I make every item the day the customer picks it up. I want the best quality possible, so I always make it fresh and like to hand over breads when they are fresh out of the oven” says Lowe, who credits her biochemistry degree from Wright State University for her mixology skills. She also has a degree in elementary education from Western Governors University.

“I like to think that I offer - to some extent - things that are different because I incorporate some flavors that not everyone considers,” she added. “Cinnamon and peach cupcakes, a peach slice with honey, and walnuts – not everyone would put those together, so I have some different flavors.

"I take a lot of pride in that not everything is overwhelmingly sweet. I want the items to be pleasurable, but not make you feel guilty about eating them.”

It also makes Lowe happy knowing that she is helping to contribute to the family finances while being able to stay home with her children.

“I love being able to stay with them and do something I love,” says Lowe, whose husband, Dustin, is a welder and a mechanic. “I’m also gaining a customer base with hopes of opening a physical place in four or five years. So far, it’s going super well."

In the future, Lowe will be taking her baked goods on the road to sell at a fall festival in October and says she's hoping to also sell at farmers markets eventually.

Lowe and her husband were raised in Park Layne and grew up in the Clark County area. Her dad, Jason Byron, and his twin brother, James Byron, work for the Springfield Police Division - her dad in the crime scene investigation unit and her uncle in the detective unit.

While both Dustin and Katie grew up thinking they wanted to leave Clark County and plant roots outside of Ohio, their outlook changed as they became adults, especially once they had children.

“We moved from Ohio to Charleston, South Carolina, for a year and decided to come back,” Lowe says. “It’s so nice to be back here. We missed the local connections and just the little things about a small town ... there’s a lot of good things going on in our local community, and I want to be a part of it.

"It’s nice to come back to the local community where I’m from. Both of us have our family here in this area, and we are reliant on the community for my business to work. There is no way of summing up how incredibly thankful I am to the people who have supported me.”
Lowe also shared her love for buying fresh, local goods and building relationships with her neighbors and the community as a whole.

She has plans to be more involved in the community, especially when it comes to the small business world, and is even looking to form partnerships with others in the area.

“I am friends with the woman who owns Penny Lane Art Gallery & Café, and it has been constantly the talk of the town. I have a partnership with her in the works, and it’s really cool to see,” Lowe says. “Now that I’m seeing these other small business owners blossoming and blooming, I want to do it, too.

"When I started this, I struggled with, "What if people don’t like it?' Then I put it out there, and people really loved it, and I’m thrilled.”

Lowe says she is also thankful to the Facebook group, Clark County Food Fiends. Run by Ryan Ray, the group is all about supporting local eateries and startups.

“He did a food critic type of review for me, and it was great,” Lowe says. “He’s also the one who asked me to make the pies for the festival. I’ve learned so much from this group.”

Reach out to Lowe for orders by text at 937-705-9585 or through her Facebook page for more information.
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Read more articles by Cindy Holbrook.