Karel Vitamvas and Cheryl Knight moved to Chatham-Kent in 2011 and have truly made their home here. The success of their small business CK Spices, Coffee & Teas in Wallaceburg exemplifies what can be accomplished when you are committed to your community and care about your customers.
Many possibilities; only one Wallaceburg
In 2007, Karel and Cheryl were at a crossroads. The NCR factory in Waterloo where they met and were both employed was undergoing major layoffs. Their time at that company had come to an end, and the closed door behind them redirected them to many other open doors. They had worked at the factory for over 32 years collectively, and weren’t interested in pursuing a similar career path.
The only thing that was certain for the couple was that their options were open. Since they weren’t Waterloo natives, they were very open to relocating anywhere. After spending some time living at their cottage in Tobermory, they decided that small business ownership was something they would like to pursue together.
Cheryl had a love for baking and cooking. She also had some experience in culinary arts, which led them to look into opening a specialty shop for spices, hot beverages and more. They were excited about the idea, but were unsure of the location. The economic climate up North wasn’t ideal for their new business. While looking around southwestern Ontario, they found a very promising and affordable property for sale in Wallaceburg. They checked it out and were further enchanted by the community and atmosphere. In June 2011, Karel and Cheryl opened the doors to CK Spices, Coffee & Teas.
A labour of love and collaboration
Having been here for over two years, Karel and Cheryl are strong advocates for Chatham-Kent. They love what Wallaceburg and the greater CK region has to offer, and enjoy being part of the welcoming, friendly and supportive and community here. Karel and Cheryl have experienced great success in Chatham-Kent, attracting many local regulars and returning out-of-town customers. Their shop is reminiscent of quaint specialty shops in places like Stratford and Niagara-on-the-Lake, with an eclectic assortment of locally sourced and unique merchandise and personalized service that is often hard to find in bigger stores.
The success of CK Spices, Coffee & Teas can be attributed in large part to Karel & Cheryl’s commitment to supporting other small or local entrepreneurs. Their inventory includes many goods produced in southwestern Ontario, such as honey, soaps, cards, popcorn, needlework, pottery, candles, and locally roasted coffee. They have brought in many products requested by their customers. Karel and Cheryl have demonstrated a commitment to Chatham-Kent and their customers, and have benefited from the community’s environment of mutual support.
Although they have not been open long, they have already been given new opportunities to expand their business. Cheryl completed Wilton cake decorating courses and some professional courses while she and Karel lived in Waterloo, and her experience includes working at the Stone Crock Bakery in St. Jacob's and teaching cake decorating in Stratford. Chery's skill is of huge benefit in Chatham-Kent where she now teaches cake decorating at the Michael’s craft store in Chatham. This June, CK Spices, Coffee & Teas also expanded to include Crowning Glory Cakes & Cake Adornments, featuring Cheryl’s handiwork.
CK Spices, Coffee & Teas
CK Spices, Coffee & Teas is a prime example of organic growth stemming from hard work, passion, and a genuine desire to help the people around you. If you haven’t done so already, welcome Karel and Cheryl to Chatham-Kent by visiting CK Spices, Coffee & Teas!
CK Spices, Coffee & Teas
217 Creek Street
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