Dining With Denise Neil

Longtime Wichita bakery is closed, for sale now that owner has given up sweets

When you lose 100 pounds, change the way you eat and give up sweets, suddenly owning a bakery doesn’t make as much sense.

That’s just one of the many reasons that Kelli Sykes, who opened Sugar Sisters Bakery in Wichita almost a decade ago, said she’s closed her business and put it up for sale.

Sykes said her last day open with regular hours was last week, though she’s still accepting special orders for cakes, cookies and more through the holidays.

“It’s been a lot of work,” said Sykes, who along with her two sisters and mother opened the bakery in 2008. “All my holidays I’m spending icing other people’s cookies. I think I just need a break.”

Sykes first opened the business with her family as a bakery and cafe in the building at 4811 E. Central that Albero Cafe now occupies. But it closed three years later, in January 2011. By December of that year, Kelli Sykes had reopened the bakery in Delano with a more streamlined menu.

She’s been happily running the bakery with help from her youngest sister ever since, she said, and she’s developed a loyal following. But she recently shed 100 pounds by following Weight Watchers, and that got her thinking about new careers.

Sykes wants to go back to school and study to become a either a nutritionist or an elementary school teacher, she said.

“I’ve been doing this for 10 years, and I’ve loved it,” she said. “The biggest thing was having so many loyal fans, and I feel bad for letting them down in a way, but I have this kind of new attitude that I just want to focus on myself. I’ve loved it. It was worth it. But it’s time to pursue other dreams.”

Anyone interested in placing a special order through the holidays – or who wants to discuss buying the bakery – can contact Sykes or at 316-686-2232 or by e-mailing sugarsisterkelli@ymail.com.

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