Friends In Need Are Friends In Deed: Candy Haven and Cakes and Kolache Haven
Sometimes the opportunity to perform an act of kindness comes at the most unexpected time. When it does, that simple gesture — one hand reaching out to grasp another — can create bonds that last for decades.
That was the case for Jane Boyle, owner of Candy Haven and Cakes in Denton, Texas. One Sunday afternoon 35 years ago, Boyle’s store was closed, but she was at the office anyway to do a little catch-up work and get ready for the coming week. Suddenly, a man appeared at the front door. He was on a mission — to purchase a box of chocolates for an elderly friend. Jane filled his order, only asking that the gentleman come back sometime during regular business hours.
Return he did, and countless times over the next three decades. With each visit, he never failed to retell the tale of his first encounter with Jane to any fellow customer who would listen. “I learned a lot that day about helping others, even perfect strangers,” Jane says. “Don became more than a loyal customer until the day he died. He became a good friend.”
That spirit of helpfulness and concern for the members of the surrounding community accounts for much of Candy Haven and Cakes’ success. “We take great pride in giving our customers exactly what they want for a fair price,” Jane explains. “We are very family-oriented, and we treat the people we work with like the family they are.”
Home to a wide variety of custom, fresh-baked cakes for every occasion, Candy Haven and Cakes also carries a full line of chocolates, gummies, jellybeans, panned candies, and Texas-sized truffles. For good measure, they also offer a wide array of corporate gift baskets.
In 2007, Jane expanded her business, opening Kolache Haven as a retirement project for her husband, Mike. (According to Jane, the restaurant is still a collaborative venture. “Mike creates the recipes, writes the menu, and handles day-to-day operations. I take care of the books, payroll, and payables.”) These sister businesses are housed in the same building. Kolache Haven serves breakfast and lunch in addition to a wide selection of its namesake Czech delight.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic hit restaurants particularly hard. In March 2020, the food and beverage industry accounted for 60 percent of the jobs lost nationwide. At the same time, empty supermarket shelves and food bank lines stretching for miles became familiar sights across the United States. For a baker like Jane, to watch people struggle with food insecurity and be unable to serve them to the utmost of her ability was especially difficult. “We had to refund dozens of orders for wedding and birthday cakes,” she recalls. “Business dropped off so badly that we decided to close for a month to regroup.”
That was not a decision Jane made lightly. It left both her and her employees with no source of steady income. It did give her time to plan her next move, however. Initially, she filled that time doing some maintenance work, “getting rid of stuff” that should have been discarded long ago. Yet, despite this downsizing, the future for both Candy Haven and Cakes and Kolache Haven remained uncertain.
That is, until the morning Jane tuned into NBC’s Today show and learned of a new federal loan program designed specifically to help small, community-based business owners like herself: the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Much as Don showed up at Candy Haven and Cakes all those years ago with his special request, Jane reached out to her banker to see if they could help her grab hold of this financial lifeline. Even now, almost four months later, you can still detect the note the excitement in Jane’s voice as she describes that conversation. “I immediately called Debbie Rhoads at Guaranty Bank & Trust’s Unicorn Lake location and told her I wanted to be at the top of her PPP applicant list.”
Together, Jane and Debbie made for a highly proactive dream team. According to Jane, Debbie “took the time to make calls for me to find out exactly what I would need in order to apply.” By the time the federal government began accepting PPP applications on April 3, Jane had filled several binders with the required documentation Debbie had instructed her to collect. She then made sure to deliver those binders to Debbie as soon as the bank opened at 10:00 AM.
From there, Debbie — assisted by Eileen Kolba — worked tirelessly to expedite Jane’s request for more than $80,0000 in emergency funding. Less than two weeks later, on April 11, Debbie texted Jane to let her know she’d been approved. The money was deposited to Jane’s business accounts by the following Tuesday.
“I had tons of friends with businesses who didn’t get in on the first round of loans,” Jane observes. “I credit the exceptional customer service I received from Guaranty for my good fortune. At some banks I’ve been with, every decision has had to go through the board. Now, whenever I need something, I call Debbie and get a straight answer right away. She even continues to send me information about the forgiveness terms of my PPP loan!”
The PPP assistance Jane received proved invaluable to covering operating expenses (utilities, payroll, etc.). With their bills paid, Candy Haven and Cakes and Kolache Haven both found themselves in a position to offer curbside pickup service by late April. Nevertheless, Jane acknowledges that reopening has not always been easy. Some of her skilled employees decided not to return. Working with a whole new cohort of delivery service providers has also presented challenges. Yet Jane persisted and has been welcoming customers back to both business’ lobbies since the end of May.
Jane remains confident that, with Guaranty’s support, her business will continue to bring sweet and savory treats — not to mention joy — to customers across Denton County for years to come. “Guaranty is the best bank ever. I trust them implicitly, and they trust me,” Jane affirms. “As far as I’m concerned, that mutual trust is what makes a community a community.”
To learn more about the culinary delights available at Candy Haven and Cakes and Kolache Haven, visit www.candyhavenandcakes.com and www.kolachehaven.com.
Whatever the size and or type of your business, Guaranty Bank & Trust is ready to lend a helping hand with a wide array of business bank services. To learn more about how we grow to help you grow, call our Customer Care Center at 888-572-9881 or book a video appointment today.