The BEST Fall Down and Up

April 25, 2024
City Beat

Recently BonBonerie was awarded some greatly appreciated recognition from the readers of CityBeat in their BEST OF CINCINNATI issue. When Tony Frank from CityBeat called to personally notify me, I was half listening to him as I sat in my husband’s hospital room, his fourth week recovering from a heart attack. I was loopy and disconnected yet thrilled as well. My heart and mind were threaded together amidst my good and bad fortune happening simultaneously. My husband is now at home mending daily, but the worry and the caretaking will continue for some time.

Forty-one years ago this April, I know the month exactly because it’s the month my business partner’s son was born and the same year, we partnered to form the BonBonerie.  Our business plan was formed to “control” our time (that was a hilarious idea), raise children, make some money, and use our God given gifts. Most of that did happen but with plenty of chaos and adaptation thrown in for extra flavor.

I have never counted how many women have worked here since 1983, or how many babies were conceived and born while their mothers were employed at BonBonerie or how many of them had to quit working or change their schedules to raise them. We have lost hundreds of women to the task of taking care of someone in their family who had taken ill.  The other day I spoke to a twenty-year member of our staff who has been taking care of her bed ridden mother for over a year while working on the cookie team whenever she could. It was obvious how exhausted she was. Throughout her struggle, her co-workers, who have their own set of life’s challenges, have picked up the slack and got the cookies cut, baked, and decorated every day. Mothers with sick children must choose their children over making birthday cakes and eclairs and there is an unknowable kind of disruption that a death in the family brings. All these circumstances can scatter work commitments to the wind.


My point in sharing this with you is that as we post our awards for:


#1 Bakery(Central)

#1 Overall Bakery (sweets)

#1Wedding Cakes

#1 Cakeshop

#1 Cupcakes

#2 Desserts(retail)

#2 Macarons


I think that it’s practically a miracle that we have been awarded such accolades amidst the strife our staff has endured along with the reconfiguration of their time and workload to get that missing baker’s or decorator’s work done, especially since everything we make from scones to soup is hand made from beginning to end every single day. Women do most of the work here and seem to do most of the care giving in the world and that’s who make up the majority of our staff. It’s the hard work and true grit of each of them that keep the doors open, the pastries baked, and the sandwiches served, mostly with smiles on their faces. It’s the community and love they have created amidst each other that is the invisible ingredient you might be tasting in every cookie, cake, and cupcake. I’m grateful that their hard work has been recognized by our city too.


Sharon Butler, Co-Founder BonBonerie