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Sweet Emotion

One Irresistible Shoppe Baking Up Magic—and More—for the Masses

Article by Stephanie Meinberg

Photography by Stephanie Meinberg

Originally published in Loveland Lifestyle

“I’ve always been a baker at heart.” No humble brag there. Just one step into Ashley Mae's quaint corner shop—one look at the perfectly piped cupcakes and cookies, the flawless mini cheesecakes and pies, the elaborate crazy shakes—and you know this long-time nurse and mother of five has been honing her craft for years. Culinary Institute of America? Le Cordon Blue? No, ma’am. The proprietress of AMAEzing Sweet Shoppe (its heart, soul and baking mastermind) credits her patisserie prowess to the OG Kitchen Confidante herself. 

“I inherited my grandmother’s Betty Crocker Cookbook. Back in the day, it was the only source we had—we didn’t have the internet,” Ashley laughs. “That was my cookbook, how I learned, self-taught. My mom would say I was ‘Miss Better Crocker.’” 

No formal schooling, just flour, sugar, and lots and lots of practice. Researching tips and techniques via the web, YouTube and social media. “If I don’t know how to do something, I’ll find resources. I don’t shy away from a challenge. I have this attitude that I’m going to figure it out.” And figure it out she did—really, really well. 

After dreaming about learning to decorate sugar cookies for years (even buying the equipment she’d need for almost a decade), Ashley just dove in, launching AMAEzing Sweet Shoppe as a “cottage bakery” from home during the covid spring of 2020. With help from her two young daughters, Ashley turned out bushels of decorated cookies for friends and family. Then friends of friends, then social media followers. Cookies, exclusively, for a few years—until someone asked for a cake. You can guess what followed.  

“It started taking over our kitchen,” Ashley flashes a wry smile remembering those box-dinner days and late-baking nights. “I wanted to take that next step, and this space came available, and with it the opportunity to grow—slow and small, that was my plan.”

Now from a commercial storefront, to those cookies and cakes Ashley added pies, cinnamon rolls, scones, croissants, seasonal specialties and so much more. AMAEzing shakes and ice cream cookie sandwiches came last summer—starring small-batch, artisan-made ice cream delivered fresh weekly from Indiana.

Her menu changes daily, answering her own siren sugar song or items that holidays inspire and customers crave. This spring, Ashley fired up her shop’s drive-through window and now offers lattes, espressos, cappuccinos, affogatos, hot chocolates and gourmet teas. Keto bubble waffles (both simply fruited or decadently loaded) have followed; savory breakfast sammies and brunch focaccias are next. And you know she’s not stopping there. 

“I never wanted to be limited just because I was a self-taught baker … there wasn’t one place where you could go and get everything. I wanted to be a sweet shop, and make a variety of things, see what I could do. And I have dreams to grow bigger—that’s just how I am. This is hopefully a stepping stone to the next space.” Did someone say franchise?

The Shoppe itself is a nod to the (literally) amazing women in her life. Mae is a family moniker—a middle name gracing two grandmothers, two of her daughters (one living, one deceased) and Ashley herself. Because family is at the heart of everything she does. 

“I wanted a place where my family, especially my girls, could go to learn real-world, life experiences. I saw the potential of not just being a homemaker, but being able to support my family even more. A place where we could work together, grow together … a place where we spent more time together.” 

Ashley admits that being a one-woman-run small business is a challenging road—but she’s never been one to shy away from that. “I want my girls to see that anything is possible, whether you want to own a bakery or be a doctor, whatever you want to be. You don’t have to be just a nurse, you don’t have to be just a mom, you don’t have to be what people expect you to be. You’re not limited, you can just do it. I’ve always been someone to just do it.” 

Just one local business, working to grow both her community and family, all through the sweet, sweet magic of sugar-spun goodness—that’s something worth indulging in (and to be inspired by). | 3307 Montgomery Rd, Loveland | 513.400.4974

I feel like if you don’t take the next step, you’re never going to know—the what-ifs are always going to haunt you. And I’m not a what-if type of girl. 

  • Photo by Ashley Combs
  • Photo by Ashley Combs
  • Photo by Ashley Combs
  • Photo by Ashley Combs
  • Photo by Ashley Combs