As the kids say, you deserve a little treat! Life is hard, so if you’re on the lookout for a boost of serotonin, you’ll find plenty of sweets, coffee, and baked goods to improve your mood at these queer-owned businesses. 


Pattycake Bakery Sticky Buns

photo credit: Alisha Skeel


Pattycake Bakery

Picture it: Moist cakes, gooey cookies, decadent truffles and bars, and fluffy muffins, all vegan and so delicious that vegetarians and carnivores will love their deliciousness all the same. Some items are even gluten-free to satisfy the craving for a safe-to-eat treat. 

Located on the main thoroughfare, N. High St., in the Clintonville neighborhood, it’s a quick drive or bus ride and well worth the trip. Although Pattycake doesn’t have indoor seating, they have a gorgeous patio surrounded by elegant shrubs and garden landscaping, which makes it an ideal spot to escape for a snack in the warmer months. 

Pro tip: While Pattycake has some ready-to-go cakes in the bakery that can be grabbed quickly as you’re headed to a party or other celebration, it’s a real treat to custom-order cakes. You’ll have a much wider variety of both cake and icing flavors and you can mix and match to your heart’s content. I’m a huge fan of the apple butter cake—it’s got the crisp, fresh apple flavor of late summer and the spice of cozy winter nights by the fireplace, so it’s perfect for shindigs year-round. 


Parable Coffee Downtown Columbus


Parable Coffee

In the heart of downtown, right across the street from the Columbus Commons, sits the chic Parable Coffee. Surrounded by lush houseplants and floor-to-ceiling windows that let in tons of natural light even on those classic overcast Columbus days, visitors can indulge in high-end artisan coffees and teas, like the sesame miso caramel latte, ceremonial matcha, masala chai latte, and brown butter maple cortado. 

Pair that with one of their similarly creative cookies, scones, and arguably some of the best croissants in the city for a match made in sugary heaven. The flavors of the baked goods change every day, so arrive early and allow yourself to be surprised by the options. With pastry chef Aaron Clouse at the helm, trust the process and you’ll be delighted every time. 

Pro tip: If your day calls for a more alcoholic version of a little treat, head to Parable anytime after 3pm Thursday through Sunday for fancy cocktails, mocktails, and natural wines. No matter when you go, be sure to check out their parking guidelines if you’re driving—it’ll save you a couple of bucks, which you could use to buy more coffee. 


Community Grounds

The name is an apt play on words, both as a place where the community can get coffee, which must be ground to make, and the grounds (or space) at which the community meets. Community Grounds is a locus for so many good things in Columbus, including the Black Queer and Intersectional Collective’s (BQIC) Free Resource Friday which provides food, clothes, and hygiene items to primarily queer trans people of color, and Deaf Coffee Chat, where ASL signers come to converse together. 

Community Grounds has all the coffee and tea classics, plus smoothies. And while many lattes are super sweet, they have more savory flavors like rosemary peppercorn and cardamom clove that even the sugar-averse folks will adore. 

If you get hungry while you’re there sipping your drink, count yourself lucky. One of the owners is Puerto Rican, so you can experience Mofongo Plato, a dish made with pickled green plantains fried and mixed with broth and spices, and Picadillo Plato, which is made with ground beef, olives, tomatoes, and raisins. 

Pro tip: Support Suspended South Side if your budget allows. It’s a program that allows people to claim items at Community Grounds that have been paid for by others in advance in an act of kindness and mutual aid. Pay it forward and help ensure no visitor leaves hungry. 


Top-down shot of scone on plate next to mug of foamy coffee from Bexley Coffee Shop


Bexley Coffee Shop

This cozy spot is the perfect place to curl up in a plush chair or enjoy the patio seating on a nice day, all while savoring scones, cookies, quiche, granola, and of course, coffee! Whether iced or hot, sugary or black, Bexley Coffee Shop has got you covered. And if you’re looking to have a bevvy with someone who doesn’t drink caffeine, they’ve got you covered there too. Choose from various flavors of Italian soda, smoothies, and delights even kids will love like the vanilla steamer, warm honey milk, hot chocolate and more.

If you live in Bexley or are thinking about moving there, stay tuned for meet-and-greets with local movers and shakers. The coffee shop hosts events with elected and aspiring city council members, school board members, and more—all vetted according to their platform on LGBTQ+ issues. 

Pro tip: Be sure to stop by on Saturdays since that’s when they have fresh-baked cinnamon rolls. Your taste buds will be glad you did. Even if it’s not Saturday, the earlier you arrive the more options you’ll have for baked goods—the treats at Bexley Coffee Shop are so yummy that it’s not uncommon for them to sell out. 

Galaxy Coffee

You won’t have to travel across the universe for Galaxy Coffee—their website will tell you where to find this roving coffee truck. And while they have delicious milky (way) concoctions, the truck was named Galaxy after the founders’ realization that gender is not only non-binary, but it’s also more than a spectrum—it’s a whole galaxy of possibilities. 

Try their hot and iced coffee and espresso drinks, as well as their teas, lemonades, chai, matcha, and hot chocolate. Enjoy your beverage treat with a vegan pastry treat like their chocolate croissants, pop tarts, and muffins. There’s even a gluten-free donut for the gluten-sensitive folks. 

Pro tip: Tip a little extra if your wallet allows. In addition to being a worker-owned co-op where everyone makes a living wage, the baristas at Galaxy don’t take tips for themselves. Instead, they put any tips they receive into the Community Jar, which allows people without the means to have a meal up to $30. That’s mutual aid and community care at work and an easy way to do a good deed for the day. 


LGBTQIA+ Owned Bakery in Columbus, Plenty O Cookies

photo credit: Whitney Mitchell


Plenty O’Cookies

If you’ve ever wondered what cookies and cakes decorated by a drag queen would look like, look no further than Plenty O’Cookies! By day, Alex is a sugar cookie-decorating maven who can make gorgeous—and delicious—cookies in just about any design you can dream up while moonlighting as the drag queen Plenty O’Smiles at night. With the goal to “bake the world a better place,” Alex’s message is getting spread far and wide between their local business and appearances on The Food Network. 

While not a traditional shop in the sense that you can walk in and grab a cookie when you get a craving, if you’re throwing a party and want some goodies your guests will never forget, Plenty O’Cookies is your go-to. The cookies are hand-decorated and highly detailed, so there are few things Alex couldn’t do. Try rings for bachelorette parties, Dr. Suess for kids’ birthday parties, diplomas and mortar boards for graduation, themed designs for each holiday, and of course, rainbows a-plenty for Pride. 

Pro tip: If you’re looking for a fun team-building activity or just something fun to do with a group of friends, call Plenty O’Cookies for a workshop. You and your crew will have fun decorating cookies while being instructed by a fun and fabulous drag queen. 


Schmidt’s Fudge Haus

Locals know Schmidt’s as an authentic German sausage house that’s been a staple in the Columbus diet since 1886, but their fudge is just as noteworthy and every bit as yummy! There’s something for everyone with a sweet tooth. Schmidt’s fudge includes beloved classics like chocolate and peanut butter fudge, elevated options like rocky road and buttercream pecan, as well as creative seasonal flavors like fall’s pumpkin spice.

If fudge isn’t your thing, try gourmet chocolates like sea salt caramels, peanut butter cups, hand-dipped buckeyes, and chocolate-covered everything, including pretzels, peanuts, raisins, almonds, gummy bears, and more. Plus, there are sugar-free and vegan options so everyone can enjoy a treat. Once you’ve had the good stuff, you’ll never want Russell Stover again. 

Pro tip: Several of Schmidt’s candies come pre-wrapped and packaged beautifully, which makes giving the gift of local delicacies both easy and delicious. While you’re enjoying your little treat, you can give the gift of a treat to someone you love.


Bake Me Happy Christmas Tree Cakes


Bake Me Happy

Gluten-free folks deserve a little treat too! And that’s the driving philosophy behind the all-gluten-free spot Bake Me Happy. If you’re expecting the dry, cardboard-like gluten-free stuff you’ve had before, rejoice because you won’t find anything resembling that at Bake Me Happy. While they make gluten-free treats to serve the population of dessert lovers who need them, their ultimate goal is to make goodies so tasty that everyone in the crew, including the gluten eaters, will love the treats. 

Choose from their takes on classics like oatmeal cream pies, chocolate chip cookies, muffins, brownies, rice krispie treats, scones, and more. Got a birthday coming up? You can pre-order cakes and cupcakes too. 

Pro tip: Go for the zebra cakes. It’s Bake Me Happy’s riff on the Little Debbie you had as a kid, but this one is even better and it won’t upset your tummy. A win-win! 


Macaron Bar

photo credit: Anjali Fong


Macaron Bar

Macarons are the ultimate little treat. With their delicately crunchy cookie exterior and creamy, bursting-with-flavor middles, and fun colors and decorations, it’s hard to turn down these little finger sandwich desserts. This explains why Macaron Bar has locations from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis, including two right here in Columbus—one in the Short North and the other in Polaris Fashion Place mall. 

Look for fruity flavors like lemon lavender and strawberry milkshake, nutty flavors like pistachio and toasted coconut, richly textured flavors like espresso cardamom and Earl Grey tea, and satisfyingly sweet flavors like birthday cake and cookies and cream, as well as a rotating cast of seasonal flavors.  

Pro tip: In-store availability varies, so go early to get the widest selection. Macarons also make great gifts because they’re as delectable as they are cute. Plus, Macaron Bar packages their wares in adorable, brightly colored boxes, so they practically wrap the treats for you.