[FORT WAYNE, IN] There's no shame in letting your geek flag fly at Sweets So Geek in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The first thing you'll notice is Yoda. Everywhere. The longer you look, the more Yoda you see. There's a collection of vintage Yoda merch on top of a bookshelf in the dining area. There's a tall Yoda standing guard in the cake room. There's even a Yoda exploding out of the wall, a gift for Sweets So Geek's first anniversary in their shop in 2015.
Star Wars is well-represented in the store's product line, too, including the Han Rolo and Deadly Dark Vader chocolates. There's also a superhero lineup with Batman, some Harry Potter candies, even a unicorn cookie that poops rainbows.
It's all the brainchild of Fort Wayne native Chad Seewald, a devoted resident of the '05 neighborhood who founded Sweets So Geek on the North Anthony Corridor with his wife, Heather.
Chad was a secret geek most of his life. Listen to how that led to Star Wars and superheroes immortalized in cocoa:
But his work goes well beyond those gooey little guys. Chad also makes extravagant cakes--"A cake's not a cake unless I get to bring out a power tool to work on it"-- as well as ice cream and plated desserts. He started an outdoor movie series last year, serving treats that match the film's theme. He's heavily involved in civic service and organizations that serve his community. And he's a dad of two kids, 13-year-old Emma and 9-year-old Connor, whom he hopes will one day man his chocolate molds.
While Chad is the main developer of flavors and fan-boy themes, it's a true family affair. His wife, Heather, is a moderating voice when Chad wants to implement all 60 cake recipes. His dad helps part time, as does his sister, a full-time teacher. His mom did all the packaging in the beginning, and his aunt and uncle help with production. "It's been a family business from the start," Chad says. And it's had a powerful influence on the next generation of self-proclaimed geeks:
It's not hard to understand why Sweets So Geek is such a mainstream success. No matter what your nerd tendencies, you're welcomed with open arms.
In addition to serving as a way for grownups to savor nostalgia, Sweets So Geek serves as a fundraising vehicle each year on March 14, Pi Day. Chad gives out pie plates to local artists to decorate or incorporate into a piece of art; the finished works are auctioned off, and the proceeds are donated to the American Cancer Society. Several pieces have been donated back to Sweets So Geek, including a dramatic joker painting hanging on the wall of the shop.
Sweet success has been abundant in this first year for Sweets So Geek. Chad sees this as just the beginning of good things to come.