CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -Two weeks after downtown businesses were looted and damaged during protests, one Euclid Avenue business is not only making plans to reopen, they’re expanding.
Kelly Kandah’s business, Colossal Cupcakes, quickly became the poster child for looting victims.
“There is still tear gas in the air. It still reminds me. I don’t like being in there. I can’t look at it like that. It’s so disappointing,” she said.
People smashed her windows, took everything of value from her downtown bakery, and destroyed her shop.
Some of the losses were 1000 cupcakes that she was donating to inner city schools who didn’t get to celebrate graduations.
“I’m not going to let this defeat me. That Saturday was the first time that our sales were comparable to Saturdays prior to the virus. Then, boom,” she said.
Law enforcement spread photos of the suspects and one, Tandre Buchanan Jr., 22, has already been arrested.
Kandah says it was a relief.
Now, she is ready to move past this dark time for her business, build it back up and expand.
She set late August for reopening her flagship store on Euclid Avenue, her new second location on Great Northern Boulevard, will have its grand opening July 3rd, and she is doubling down on downtown opening a third storefront in the AECOM building on 9th street late September.
For Kandah it’s about moving forward.
“Instead of just trying to rebuild something, how can I get ahead? How can I make sure that this doesn’t bring me down, something that I spend so many years growing? I just felt that I was going to show people that anybody can become stronger when they go through this stuff,” Kandah said.
Kandah is now getting serious threats personally and to her business, because she spoke out against the looting, fires and violent protests.
People have posted and made in-person threatens to her new location, and the one reopening, upset that she cooperated with the FBI in the investigation, and saying attention to her property damage shouldn’t distract from the message.
Despite feeling victimized again, she is investing back into her business and the community.