Bill and Marilyn Ramsey have landed another sweet deal, not despite their Cero’s Candies deal falling apart but because of it.
The Ramseys and Wichita City Council member Bryan Frye and his wife, Sheila, became partners in Cero’s late last year but then had a falling out with majority owner Betty Albrecht, which led to a lawsuit the week of Valentine’s Day.
“We settled amicably,” Bill Ramsey says.
Before that happened, though, Sweetly Scrumptious owner Kellie Knowles read about the issue in Have You Heard? and approached the Ramseys about helping her grow her business.
Now, the three are partners in Sweetly Scrumptious and have moved it from the Normandie shopping center at Central and Woodlawn to Prairie Village Shopping Center at 13th and Woodlawn.
The Fryes opted to not be in the deal.
Knowles says the new partnership is “just a great opportunity for the next level of business.”
“I’m an entrepreneur,” Bill Ramsey says. “I look at opportunities.”
He says being involved in Sweetly Scrumptious makes sense in a lot of ways.
For starters, Marilyn Ramsey had become a certified chocolatier to work at Cero’s and no longer had a use for her skills.
Now, Sweetly Scrumptious is going to add a line of chocolates.
The Ramseys are going to help Knowles evaluate what lines to expand or eliminate.
Sweetly Scrumptious carries cakes, cupcakes, cake balls, chocolate-covered pretzels and “an amazing array” of other sweets, Bill Ramsey says.
“Pretty much any kind of dessert you want,” he says. “I really like their product. I think this is a great potential.”
Catering and dessert bars are the biggest focus of the business — not walk-in customers.
“We’ve continued to grow through these years and picked up quite a bit of corporate clientele,” says Knowles, who started the business in 2010.
“I was at the point in the business that I needed to bring on a team to accentuate that growth.”
Marilyn Ramsey says the online portion of the business is a huge opportunity for growth.
So is a relationship with the Candle Club and its event center, LaVela, which is next door to where Sweetly Scrumptious moved. Knowles says she’d been working with Candle Club management on partnering opportunities even before she started talking to the Ramseys.
“Us being right there is just going to help us capitalize on that relationship,” Bill Ramsey says.
“We’ve just got a unique opportunity in front of us.”
The new Sweetly Scrumptious space is about 3,000 square feet compared to the 1,200 square feet the business used to have.
Knowles says she’ll be able to accommodate a lot more parties, classes and corporate events in the space.
She’s hosting a grand opening in conjunction with a holiday showcase on Nov. 8 and will invite customers and corporate clients to see the space and sample what the business serves.
Marilyn Ramsey also is a Keller Williams Realty agent, but she says her brief time at Cero’s helped her discover she likes working with chocolate.
“I just found it really soothing.”
Bill Ramsey is a partner in several businesses, including a few uBreakiFix stores. He says adding another business isn’t stressful.
“You know what ‘stressed’ spelling backwards is?” he asks. “Desserts.”