Phat Cakes & Cafe

Downtown – recent projects and announcements

Around the Town pic

More than 60 businesses and 1,000 students participated in Around the Town.

Here are just some of the exciting things that have taken place or been announced in downtown Tiffin recently:

  • Another Man’s Treasure: Second-hand shop that features furniture, appliances, collectibles and antiques.
  • Around the Town: More than 1,000 Heidelberg and Tiffin University students have an opportunity to see what more than 60 Tiffin businesses and organizations are all about.
  • Bailiwicks Coffee Company: Founded in 2011 and recently expanded to include coffee roasting that will allow them to serve up their own signature brews, roasted in house.
  • Downtown Façade Enhancement Program: One of the most successful programs in the In 2014, $50,000 was set aside by the city and $150,000 was reinvested back into Downtown Tiffin. In 2015, $100,000 was set aside by the city and $700,550 was reinvested back into Downtown Tiffin.
  • Downtown Farmers Market: Sponsored by the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services held every second and fourth Saturday of the month. Draws 1,000+ people downtown.
  • Downtown Summit: SIEDC hosts a Downtown Summit every year that highlights the successes from the previous year and honors those that helped make it happen.
  • Empire at 138: Upscale restaurant that brings a historic flair to white tablecloth dining in downtown Tiffin.
  • FroZone: Build-your-own frozen yogurt shop, which features 12 yogurt choices and a topping
  • Jazzin’ Tiffin: Jazz festival that brings 2,000+ visitors into the downtown every year.
  • JT’s Bagel Bar: Features their famous donuts, bagels and various bagel sandwiches for take-out.
  • Kiosk, Wayfinding & Signage: The city of Tiffin has invested $100,000 into a kiosk on the Courthouse Square, wayfinding and signage to assist visitors on navigation.
  • Ma Chere Claire: Boutique that sells clothing, accessories, jewelry and more.
  • Mural: Leadership Seneca County commissioned the mural as part of the Tiffin Downtown Strategic Plan, and two-thirds of the funding for the project came from private or corporate donations.
  • Ohio Main Street Program: Tiffin joins an elite group of 23 additional communities dedicated to a comprehensive and highly successful trademarked Main Street revitalization strategy.
  • Phat Cakes & Café: Located in downtown Tiffin across from the Ritz Theatre, the restaurant offers a full menu including craft beer, wine, mixed drinks, homemade soups, salads, sandwiches, quiche, specials, and gourmet desserts.
  • RE/MAX: Full service agency, specializing in real estate listings, farm ground sales, estate auctions, and information for home owners and buyers.
  • Simply Susan’s:“Unique boutique” and gift shop. Offerings include chocolates made in-house, customizable sugar cookies, craft supplies, scrapbooking basics and apparel.
  • Surge Staffing: Employee recruitment service with more than 60 locations nationwide.
  • The Beehive Café: A farm to table restaurant located in Downtown Tiffin that opened in 2014.
  • Vintage Chick: Repurposed, restyled and chic furniture, as well as antiques and decorations.

Phat Cakes offers hip cuisine in Tiffin’s downtown

2014_03_01 - Phat Cakes Cupcakes

A view of the cupcake case at Phat Cakes.

I had dinner at Phat Cakes & Cafe for the first time in downtown Tiffin last night, and it didn’t disappoint. The decor is clean and neat with a hint of urban vibe. College students, residents, visitors – a nice mix of people who come to the two-year old restaurant started by Pittsburgh culinary graduate Natalie Wertz, who honed her skills in Columbus and Pittsburgh before choosing to move back to Tiffin.

There’s a glint in her eye as she discusses one of the new dinner specials–the Cali French Toast–and how a visit to California and the taste of orange-infused French Toast inspired her to create it. She’s pleased one of her regular patrons–who always orders the house famous Black Jac, a blackened chicken breast on a panko-crusted pepper jack macaroni and cheese dish–ventures to try her new creation. They were glad they did. It’s also worth mentioning that they have a nice wine and beer selection (on tap…on this night I had the Magic Hat #9.)

Wertz’s local fame grew because of her custom cakes (wedding, birthday, shaped cakes) and cupcakes, which is still a passion of hers. Cupcake choices available during my visit included the warm fudgy Red Velvet and a Bananas Foster, among others (I had the bread pudding, though). A nice selection of tempting cheesecakes, brownies, and cookies were also there for dessert.

Thursday nights also feature live jazz, which often showcases local jazz band Zarathustra. Phat Cakes also gets a lot of traffic from people attending one of the shows at the $6.6M renovated Ritz Theatre. In the future, Wertz hopes to add more tables and perhaps a party/gathering/overflow room. She is definitely a “Seneca Success.”