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Always Fresh

Cedar Tree Kitchen Owner Cheri Goodwin Is a One-Woman Baking Show

Writer / Julie Yates
Photographer / Krystal Dailey

Located in the Just Us building in Lebanon, Cedar Tree Kitchen is the perfect place to grab a muffin and a cup of coffee. However,Cedar Tree Kitchen once customers see the scrumptious-looking cupcakes, cookies, brownies and more, they end up taking home dessert for that night. It’s the ideal job for Owner Cheri Goodwin, whose lifelong love of baking is the force behind the business.

“It’s the dream career I always wanted,” Goodwin says. “I retired from being involved in the legal profession for years. I was a legal assistant, courtroom bailiff, and worked in private or small firms. It was time for a change. Our long-range plans were to retire to South Carolina, but then my daughter moved to Cincinnati. Since we stayed here, I wanted to do something fun. I’ve always baked. My dad was an on-the-road salesman and when he came home, he unwound by baking. I was by his side and we tried out different things. My enjoyment has continued to be baking for people, especially in times of need like a funeral, new baby or a move.”

The bakery is nestled amongst salons and a boutique. Goodwin took the bakery over from Mindy Spaulding, Just Us building owner, who has an aesthetics business there. The women have known each other for several years. Goodwin coached Spaulding when she was a high school cheerleader. Before acquiring the business, Goodwin was a contractor and supplied the previous bakery with her delicious baked goods.

“I just love being here,” Goodwin says. “This building sat empty for five years before Mindy. People who come in always say they wondered what was in here.”

Cedar Tree Kitchen is open Wednesday through Saturday. Goodwin does the lion’s share of the baking on Tuesday as a one-woman show. Her two most popular offerings are the blueberry muffins and the rich, fudgy brownies made from her father’s secret recipe. On any given day, customers might find muffins such as chocolate zucchini, lemon, or banana nut with strudel. Cupcakes can include beautifully decorated chocolate Oreo. Goodwin loves to try innovative flavors such as a root beer float cupcake, complete with a cherry on the top, made from local Klooz Brewz root beer.

“I like to use local ingredients,” Goodwin says. “The coffee is from Julian Coffee Roasters in Zionsville. I grind the beans every morning. During teacher appreciation week, I gave free coffee to any teacher that came in.”

For those who want to order several dozens of cookies, cupcakes and muffins, or even a cake or pie, an email can be sent to the business at cedartreekitchen@gmail.com. Three days’ notice is necessary and a deposit is required. Goodwin does have recipes for gluten-free treats, and they are available by order only.

“I enjoy being a small, independent business,” Goodwin says. “I grew up here and I know my customers, but I like to chat with those I don’t know. I love the small-town feel.”

Cedar Tree KitchenCedar Tree Kitchen is located at 320 East Main Street in Lebanon. For more information and special orders, email cedartreekitchen@gmail.com. Also call 317-440-2077, visit cedartreekitchen.com, and view them on Facebook.

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