Topeka bakery, coffee shop owner feeling ‘panicked’ during COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Topeka business owner, Janna Helmick, is worried about her business three days after opening her doors to the public.

Simply Sweets by Janna is a bakery and coffee shop at the Brookwood Shopping Center in Southwest Topeka. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Helmick used to do custom cakes and cookies for other businesses.

On Tuesday, she opened the store with the coronavirus pandemic in the back of her mind. Now, with restaurants and coffee shops having to close their lobbies, she’s worried.

“I have five kids and six grand kids,” Janna said. “I’ve always been kind of a go-getter, kind of a hustler. And I never really panic…ever. If something bad happens, I know it’s going to work out eventually, but I’m a little panicked.”

Janna is operating her store on her own with the help if her family. She said she was going to hire staff, but with the pandemic and other factors she couldn’t.

Janna is considering doing grab-and-go orders or carry out for the time being. She said so far, the community has been helpful in her first few days.

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