A creative catering business is seeking a downtown storefront

A catering business with a creative variety of foods and desserts for any event, large or small, is looking to open a brick-and-mortar location in downtown Fort Wayne.

“If somebody gave us a building today, gave us the resources to get all the things we wanted, we would be ready to roll,” says Kimora Lane.

Lane is the food side of the catering business, and her business partner, Marie Sims, is the confectioner. Together, they are KiMarie’s Kreations & Katering.

About two years ago, the friends met when Lane was looking for a hair stylist (Sims) after moving to Fort Wayne from Buffalo, New York.

As they started hanging out, both cooks impressed each other with their creativity.

“I was sitting there, watching ‘Empire’ and eating her caramel corn,” Lane says about the snack that Sims had brought, “and I loved it.”

KiMarie’s prides themselves in their displays.

Lane, who’s been catering professionally for 26 years, learned “off the cuff and over the shoulder,” she says, from her mother, grandmother, and her professional chef brother. She began catering in Fort Wayne when her pastor, the first female Minister Carla Jennings of Summit Church, asked her to replace a previous cook for an event.

Sims was surprised because she always thought of her caramel corn as a family (only for-us) recipe. Her older sister taught her how to make it. She never thought of herself as a cook; that was her mom.

“She can make a bologna sandwich, cut it up into some squares, and make it gourmet,” Sims says of her mother.

Sims was equally surprised when she tried some of Lane’s dishes. Lane’s signature is anything cooked with alfredo sauce. Sims’s specialty is anything with caramel. So as a catering company, their food ranges from savory to sweet.

Whimsical touches make KiMarie’s desserts special.

The signature creation for KiMarie’s—the perfect marriage of their talents—is their chocolate reigndrops, a treat that looks like something out of Willy Wonka or Harry Potter.

Their bacon reigndrops are chocolate “drops” formed with bits of bacon. Their hot chocolate reigndrops ($10 for an eight pack) are chocolate drops made with a spicy secret recipe. KiMarie’s signature reigndrops are made with a secret recipe.

They offer other flavors, too, and yes, they are a trade secret, Lane says.

In catering, KiMarie’s has learned that secret-ship and personal touches make all the difference. Everything from their presentation to their packaging is unique to their whimsical styles and tastes.

Once, they wanted to test their creations with a group of entrepreneurs. They brought suckers, wrapped candies, caramel corn, and chocolate cups that look so good that people refuse to eat them at first because of how beautiful the display was.

The pair knew they were onto something when they convinced Robin, Marie’s very honest sister, of their service’s quality.

“You’re talking about someone (in Robin) who’s almost done with law school so that alludes to her mindset,” Marie says. “She thinks logically.”

Robin told the pair that she would actually pay money for KiMarie’s creations, waving off the family discount that almost always translates to free. And over the years, their confidence grew.

“We became to believe (more) in the viability of the ideas,” Sims says.

KiMarie’s Kreations & Katering

Kimora Lane: 260.750.8040

Marie Sims: 260.710.6915

This story was originally written for and published by Fort Wayne Ink Spot Newspaper, one of Input Fort Wayne’s media partners.

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Read more articles by William Bryant Rozier.

William Bryant Rozier is the managing editor of Fort Wayne Ink Spot newspaperThrough his own fortuitous set of circumstances, he now writes, takes photographs, designs stuff, and makes short video projects for a living. He’s written for Frost Illustrated Newspaper, Indian Country Today, and Ebony.com. He’s photographed for USA Today, Getty Images, and Black Enterprise Magazine.