Little Rock’s popular Sweet Love bakery will close in less than a month, according to a report by RockCityEats.com. Owner and head baker Kelli Marks reportedly said she will close on Jan. 13, 2016.
“We’ve done well, but we haven’t done great,” says Marks. “It’s expensive. Running a small business is really tough. There have been long stretches of time I’ve done all the baking and most of the decorating. And then just managing things and working social media and trying to make connections, and there was just a lot involved. And it’s time to let it go.”
Sweet Love will close four years to the day after it first opened in the Cantrell Heights shopping center. Marks had been baking for years before opening her storefront and quickly became a hit in Little Rock. However, rising food costs and a recent slowdown in business forced her to close shop, according to the RockCityEats report.
“December is tough because it’s usually really busy,” says Marks. “And then it dies in January for bakeries, with people eating healthy, no holidays, people kind of cut back. So January was going to be a tough month for us, but this December was a decline for us.
“I’ve been open for four years. Butter has doubled. It used to be $70. Now it’s $145 a case, and we go through two or three cases in a week. Eggs are also up there. When everything you do is from scratch, those basics going up really hurt you.”
Marks opened Sweet Love in January of 2012 with the idea that treats can both feed a sweet tooth as well as the soul, according to her bakery’s website.