On a typical day, Amy Jordan is up and at work by 5 a.m., firing up the oven and helping prep the morning’s pastries at Kathy’s Pies.
“We make cinnamon rolls and kolaches every morning,” says Amy, who took over ownership from sisters Kathy McCauley and Terri Henecke in 2019.
Kathy’s Pies has been sweetening the downtown landscape for about 35 years with best-selling treats like chocolate cream pie, frosted sugar cookies, monster cookies, Tollhouse bars, PB Scotchies and seasonal favorites like pumpkin and lemon bars.
“We make everything from scratch and by hand,” Amy says. “I bought the recipes from the previous owners and still use them daily.”
She’s added a few of her own, of course. Formerly a licensed home baker, Amy brought her recipes for homemade toaster pastries and muffins with her.
Kathy’s Pies has been at its current location since 2000 and is now one of 10 restaurants in the MedQuarter Regional Medical District. Amy appreciates the connection to the MedQuarter.
“We’re so close and convenient to the hospitals and doctors’ offices. People pop in and get cookies for their doctor, and a cupcake always brings a smile to someone in the hospital, to cheer them up,” she says.
MedQuarter employees are among regular customers of Kathy’s Pies, too. “Because we’re located right in the middle of downtown, people stop by on their way to work,” Amy says.
As it was for many businesses, 2020 was a challenging year for Kathy’s Pies. In response to the pandemic, Amy added curbside pickup and home delivery services. Combined with online ordering, the services have been popular with customers. And she expects walk-in traffic to pick up as the pandemic recedes.
The derecho dealt Cedar Rapids a tough hand as well. “Thankfully, we had no physical damage,” she says, but the bakery lost power and everything in the fridge and freezers.
This industrious baker and business owner quickly got back to work, though, satisfying the MedQ’s collective sweet tooth. So the next time you’re here, stop by Kathy’s Pies for a sweet treat.
616 Fifth Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids
Hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays