Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce Names Sassy Pants Small Business of the Month

May 3, 2021 – Sassy Pants Sweet & Treats is the inaugural winner of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Month for May 2021. The award, sponsored by Enrichment Federal Credit Union, is awarded every month to a member of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce. Businesses with 50 or fewer employees are eligible to receive this designation. To be considered, the establishment must have been in business for 3 or more years and show active involvement in the community and/or the Chamber.

According to the nominator, “Sassy Pants moved and expanded operations at the beginning of the pandemic. They have done an amazing job staying engaged with the community and surviving during a time when other longer-established businesses were unable to stay open. They have fought hard to grow their business over the past year. I think this is worthy of being nominated as a Small Business of the Month!”

Owner and Operator Sherry Hartzog embodies the definition of entrepreneur. She started the business in February 2017 as a way to make some extra money while staying home with an infant. In fact, it was her daughter, born prematurely at 27 weeks, who is the company’s namesake. The NICU nurse actually gave the now 5-year-old the nickname “Sassy Pants” since the tiny girl came out kicking and squeaking “even at that young age,” said Hartzog.

Sassy Pants is indeed a family business. Sherry and her husband Bobby started the business and it was based on her mother’s recipes and teaching.

Mom, Betty Bracken, taught her how to bake and make candy, and the venture began with Valentine’s Day candy, and expanded to Easter, then other holidays, and special events. In a year, Sassy Pants had moved to its first location in Grove Center, and then relocated to its current location at 981 Oak Ridge Turnpike. Sadly, her mother passed away the same week of the grand opening, roughly a year ago. “I dedicated the opening to her,” Hartzog recalls, “and I started with her recipes.” Hertzog has since graduated from culinary school as a certified pastry chef, and the business is doing so well she is now looking for an additional chef who can help with the baking, while other employees dress the desserts with fillings, icing and toppings.

The former special-ed teacher seems to have no regrets about her career change. In fact, they are so busy that custom orders need to be placed two weeks in advance. The store is open Tuesday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. – Noon. Walk-in customers can choose from a to-go item assortment of gourmet cupcakes, cream horns and cake pops. Sherry’s own favorite is a chocolate cupcake filled with peanut butter, complete with leant butter icing and crushed Reese’s peanut butter cups on top. “It’s sinful,” she confesses. But she says a fan favorite is their white almond cake, not to mention breads they offer at the Farmer’s Market.

The business likes to be involved in Oak Ridge and Anderson County schools with sports team sponsorships. Sassy Pants has participated in the Oak Ridge Art Center’s Souper Bowl, and often donates items for silent auctions and special events.

To be considered for the Small Business of the Month award, Chamber members can visit Small Business of the Month under the Members tab on the Chamber’s website: www.oakridgechamber.org.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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