SAN ANTONIO – Editor’s Note: This story is part of KSAT’s South Texas Pride series, which focuses on LGBTQ+ stories. For more stories in the series, visit KSAT.com/southtexaspride.
One year of business hasn’t been easy for LGBTQ-owned bakery Cereal Killer Sweets, but the will to serve customers has kept it thriving throughout the pandemic, a time when many businesses unfortunately aren’t surviving financial hardships.
Owner and chef Megan Morales has been steering the ship with the help of her wife and dedicated employees.
Her business had to immediately adjust to shutdowns when COVID-19 cases rose in Texas, and the brick-and-mortar location, previously near the intersection of West Ave. and Patricia, had to close to customers.
“One of our biggest hurdles was we literally shut down and opened up online 100% the very next day. We hadn’t ever really touched the shipping very much, especially nationwide, dealing with the Postal Service, UPS, all of the problems that even arise with shipping, finding boxes,” Morales said. “That was a really big learning curve to be able to do that, to not have the retail anymore, and to also still find a way to engage with our customers since they don’t get to come in and interact with us.
But even with the shut down at the beginning of the pandemic, Morales was able to find a way to help those affected, like students who rely on free lunches at school.
“(We offered) the free lunches to the kids when the pandemic first started in the school shut down,” she said. “That was really cool because a lot of our customers donated for that as well and helped volunteer. And that was a really neat thing.”
The pandemic sparked a bigger social media following for the business as many sought comfort, which led to more online attention for the store.
“We saw an upswing,” Morales said. “They needed some comfort food, something really yummy to eat, to kind of deal with the stress. Now, everyone’s kind of getting back into their routines, and so we’re kind of at our normal pace.”
Morales says it’s about giving customers what they want to see on social media platforms, like Instagram.
“We always do like pool videos or sprinkle videos or things that really catches their eye that they’ll just sit down and watch,” Morales said.
“People like that they get to connect with us not just on a business level but on a personal level, as well," Morales continued.
The help for the community hasn’t stopped from Cereal Killer Sweets' end. Morales is also working on helping out an LGBTQ+ organization during Suicide Awareness Month in September.
“One of our initiatives is 100% of the proceeds from one of our cookies is actually going to go to the Trevor Project, (which is) the nation’s leading LGBTQ suicide awareness hotline,” Morales said.
Cereal Killer Sweets has also helped LGBTQ+ organizations that support local youth.
“THRIVE Youth Center, Fiesta Youth -- those are ones that are really close to us, especially when it comes to kids,” Morales said. “We all remember what it was like growing up, you know, not really knowing what’s happening. And so the fact that there are those kinds of programs out there to kind of guide kids and help them is really close to us.”
As for the future, Morales says it’s all about creating a safe space for the community and serving others.
“We’re really looking forward to the day where we can open back up as a business and let people come inside and have that kind of childhood experience of taking everything out,” she said. “Of course, we’re going to continue to push nationwide, all of those shipments and sales as well, but just sticking with our San Antonio community.”
Morales also reflected on her year running Cereal Killer Sweets.
“This last year, for a whole year that we’ve been in this new bakery, we’re just excited every day because we see our vision finally coming to life. And it’s a really good feeling.”
View this post on Instagram
💜💜Long post, please read 💜💜 So today is our 1 year anniversary of our sweet sweet bakery. From slinging cereal treats out of our closed down popcorn store, to taking the summer off when our lease ended, trying to open up a cereal bar downtown, to being forced to make cookies, it’s been a wild ride. If you told me a year ago that we would be over 10k followers, shipping nationwide, and baking cookies everyday, I’d call you a liar! We hadn’t really planned on even making cookies when we first opened this space. However taking over a place that was a cookie bakery for 15 years kind of forced us in a new direction and we LOVE IT!!!!! 🥰 We’re still a small family owned bakery. While Covid changed our business for the better it still hit us with the same struggles as all other businesses. We can’t thank you enough for your continued support. As a small business every single order counts! I know we make a lot of changes and sometimes without warning but we’re always striving to do the best not just for y’all as our customers, but for our staff as well. As a business owner who strives to have the ultimate customer service I know “you can’t please everyone” but we damn well try 😍. Happy 1 Year to our bakery 💜🤗 Thank y’all for supporting and loving us along the way!