Handshoe Cakes and Cookies receives 2020 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award

Winners named during TSEP Annual Meeting

  • View the award video here (also at bottom of article.)
Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bryce Riggs presents the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award to Beverly Hemmerly on Lisa Handshoe’s behalf at the 2021 TSEP Annual Meeting.

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 8, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is proud to have named Handshoe Cakes and Cookies as one of the 2020 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award recipients during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.

Owner Lisa Handshoe started the company in August 1999, after a lifelong love of baking. The store offers a variety of baked goods, including custom cakes, sugar cookies, and holiday items and gluten-free and sugar-free desserts.

“I just really enjoy baking. Baking is my therapy, it’s just what I like to do,” she said.

Since opening in 1999, the business has grown from baking 2-3 cakes a week to more than 18 cakes a day during graduation season and 500 dozen cut out cookies during the holiday season. Handshoe continues to make time to set up at Tiffin Y-Wives, Seneca County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and Seneca East local schools. Additionally, Handshoe has had to take on employees to keep up with the demand.

In July 2017, Handshoe started Project Cookies from Home, in which she sends boxes with 45-54 cookies, with letters and pictures from area youth and other items to local men and women stationed overseas with the U.S. Armed Forces. To date, she has sent 724 boxes, totaling 40,000 cookies.

“It’s really awesome to see the feedback from the military members, and how appreciative they are,” Handshoe said. “They absolutely love the cookies, but I think they appreciate the drawings and letters from the kids, from the youth, as much as the cookies, just to know that there are people supporting them at home.”

In October 2020, the company invested $25,000 to open a new storefront in Handshoe’s garage, which has allowed her to expand her products and gave space to offer items from local vendors.

The expansion coincided with the Covid-19 global pandemic. Despite initially worrying that she would not be able to keep the business going, Handshoe the community stepped up to support her, and she gained many new customers, making 2020 her best sales year ever.

“I’m so honored and thankful for being able to receive this award,” she said. “There’s just so many people who’ve helped me get to where I’m at, and I’m just thankful.”

The store is located at 6085 E. SR 18, near Republic, and for more information, find Handshoe Cakes and Cookies on Facebook or visit www.handshoecakesandcookies.com.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org.

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