Local bakery thrives through COVID pandemic
Chris and DeAnn Warnick are the owners of Sweet Sensations bakery. The couple bought the business June 12, 2019, and opened July 3, 2019.
“We were looking for something, but we weren’t sure what,” Chris said.
“When we opened this place, we didn’t really know what to expect or what to do, but we stuck through and did it,” DeAnn added.
Sweet Sensations is a true family affair. The Warnick’s children, Courtney and Eli, often help out around the bakery. Baking wedding and birthday cakes, cupcakes of all flavors, desserts like the popular strawberry pretzel salad, cake pops and much more, Chris and DeAnn often work seven days a week.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Sweet Sensations was not immune from the struggles many small businesses faced. Chris said when things were at their toughest, the couple was having breakfast at the bakery, praying, and said, ‘God, if you want us to keep this place open, you better show us something.’
That night, 10 minutes before closing, a woman came into the store with a large order that eventually totaled $3,800.
“We knew then that God was telling us that we better stay for a while,” Chris said.
Since then, Sweet Sensations has bounced back from those perilous pandemic times.
In one illustrious achievement, the bakery was recently asked to be a sponsor of an event that celebrated Lee Greenwood’s 40 years in the music industry. An All-Star Salute to the “God Bless the U.S.A.” singer was a star-studded night, for which the Warnicks prepared two birthday cakes and 1,100 dessert items.
Chris and DeAnn said they still do not know who is responsible for recommending them to the Greenwood’s team, but they are very grateful.
“I got a phone call from some of his team members asking us if we would be interested,” Chris said. “I almost didn’t answer it because it was an out-of-state number. We’ve met a lot of friends through the process of it all.”
Chris and DeAnn met several celebrities at the event, held Oct. 12 in Huntsville, including Paula Dean, Mike Huckabee, Jamey Johnson, The Oak Ridge Boys, Ty Herndon, John Connely and Crystal Gale.
Since bouncing back from the struggles brought on by the pandemic, Chris said there has been a substantial difference in his business. “There has been less sleep and more work,” he said with a laugh.
“We believe in putting the extra effort in going the extra mile for our customers,” he explained. “We’ve done that excellent customer service. Sometimes we are booked and can’t make it happen, but if it’s even possible, for the most part we try to accommodate the customer.”
Sweet Sensations is located at 899 Highway 31. The bakery is open Tuesday through Friday from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturday from 6 a.m. until noon.