Clay Cerna is usually out of bed by 12:30 and in the kitchen by 1:15 or so. Note: those times are both am.
Such is the life of a baker, and it's something Cerna has had to get used to since opening Sweetbox Delivery in November. The company's baked goods have begun popping up for sale on a regular basis at the downtown coffee shop Atticus and out at the Spokane County Fairgrounds. Sweetbox also will deliver to your workplace, party or other occasion that requires, say, a whole lot of bagels. While it's not in their wheelhouse, Cerna says they'll also do smaller orders.
"If someone wants just a single cinnamon roll delivered to their door, we'll do that," says Cerna, a 29-year-old native of Connell, Wash., who, among other jobs, worked as a real estate agent in Spokane before leaving for Seattle and then Chicago, where he operated a pedicab business.
More recently, though, he was the general manager of Dawn of the Donut, Spokane's zombie-themed bakery. When the business was sold over the summer, Cerna got word that his position would be phased out. He was on vacation at the time and made a quick decision while on the road.
"It was 87 miles of driving after I got word, and I already had a lawyer setting up an LLC for [Sweetbox]," says Cerna.
The business began operations out of Kitchen Spokane, a shared industrial cooking space, but soon grew out of that setting and set up shop downtown, underneath Nectar Tasting Room on Stevens Street. Currently, the raspberry cream cheese-filled bagels are the menu favorite, with the mini cinnamon rolls coming in a close second.
While the Sweetbox website features a detailed menu, Cerna says the company aims to make what people want rather than try to push anything into the market before there's a desire for it. And as long as he has 24 to 48 hours notice, Cerna says Sweetbox will get you your baked-good fix.
"My mission is to make gaining weight enjoyable," says Cerna with a laugh. "And it's a delivery-based bakery because I'm a firm believer that food is always better when it's delivered to you."♦
Sweetbox Delivery • 821-8100 • sweetboxdelivery.com