Kira’s Sweet Bakes in the Village serving up community sweets
If you find yourself craving something sweet while you’re in Mantua, you’re in luck. Kira’s Sweet Bakes in the Village has you covered.
Located at 4690 East Prospect Street, Kira’s offers a range of hand made confections including cobblers, cakes, cannoli, pies, puddings, and brownies.
On any given day, customers can find a consistent offering of breads, donuts (on the weekend), peach cobbler — Kira’s specialty — large shareable hand pies, and cinnamon rolls big enough to feed the whole block. An assortment of cookies and cakes are available each day as well.
Kira’s Sweet Bakes features a weekly assortment of cannoli during the appropriately named Cannoli Tuesday. They fly off the shelves, said owner Kira Crawford.
Gary Crawford, store manager and Kira’s husband, said that they often have people asking them to make custom orders, something Kira has no problem undertaking.
“If they want something special, a special order, I can make it — anything,” Kira said.
Catering for special events through Kira’s Sweet Bakes is an option for those finding themselves with more than a couple mouths to feed. How much lead time Kira needs to prepare depends on what her customers are requesting.
“For example, for an 8-inch cake I just need about 24 hours notice,” she said. “But if it’s a big sheet cake I need about three days for turnaround on that order.”
Kira and Gary Crawford moved to Hiram last year after 20 years spent raising two children in Streetsboro.
Kira’s been baking since she was a child, something she often did with her mother.
“There was never a weekend where we did not have a dessert,” Kira said. “One of the first things I learned how to bake was my peach cobbler, which is one of my best selling sweets.”
Owning a bake shop has been a dream of Kira’s forever. She recalls telling people that she planned to open a small bakery as part of her retirement. Instead, she’s turned baking into a livelihood.
After becoming a licensed home baker in 2021 and successfully selling her goods around town for a year, she decided to open a store front after a drive through town.
“My husband saw, he said, ‘Hey, you know this building is for rent, what do you think'” Kira said. “I was like…if we’re gonna do this, we only have one shot. So we said let’s go for it.”
After signing the lease and fixing the place up some, Kira’s Sweet Bakes opened in May, receiving a positive response from the city, as well as surrounding areas. Gary and Kira say they’ve gotten customers from Garretsville, Aurora, Auburn, Chardon and Shalersville.
“Being right off the turnpike, people are stopping [in town] maybe to get gas and they see we’re here, and they’re coming,” Gary said.
Currently, there are no plans to expand but that’s something that’s a possibility, Kira said. For now, the goal is to continue establishing themselves in Mantua. They are, however, planning on expanding their in-store offerings.
In the back of the high-ceilinged, wood-paneled bakery is an area that’s not currently in use, separated from the rest of the dining area. Their idea is to utilize the space to host small dinner parties, showers, or birthday dinners.
“Also, we have some activities and events we’re planning starting in the fall,” Kira said. “We’re going to be having family game nights, where we draw in the community — families — and have a lot of various games going on.”
Gary said that one of the things that he and Kira love about their shop’s location is how community-oriented Mantua is. It reminds him of the close-knit communities of his 1970s childhood.
There’s already a foosball table in the shop, and Kira said that they anticipate offering a wide selection of games beginning in September.
“We’ll have Pictionary going on, we’ll have cards, bingo, all various types of fun games for families to enjoy,” Kira said. They’ve also got plans for Halloween-themed trick-or-treat activities.
Kira seems to be relishing in the euphoria felt by those who strike out on their own, intent on living their lives for themselves on their own terms.
“I love to bake,” said Kira. “It’s a dream, I feel like I’m in a dream. It feels wonderful to be my own boss, and to be doing something that I love and make a profit from it.”
Contact reporter Derek Kreider at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gary Crawford, manager
Kira Crawford, owner