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Thriver Awardee


Jeraldine Stewart

A woman whose entrepreneurial leadership has grown and sustained a business, meeting increasingly higher levels of achievement in revenue, job creation and market share.

"Winning this award just solidifies the fact for me that, with God, ALL things are possible!"

Jera Stewart, owner of Jera’s Heavenly Sweet Bakery, started with a passion for baking, learning from her mom. Having successfully raised her children, she and her husband decided to go big and opened a location on Summit St in downtown Toledo in the One SeaGate building.


When she won the competitive JumpStart pitch competition grand prize, she used her winnings to move her bakery to a promising new location. Then the pandemic hit. Using retirement savings and PPP grants, she continued following her dream.

Jera did pop-ups, deliveries, and more to continue the business while building the new location.


In March of 2021, her husband of 35 years died and her business became the lifeline to keep her moving forward, and move forward she did. Now, with over ten employees, she is a popular spot for coffee and sweets with both the neighborhood and University of Toledo students. Her secret to success is that she never takes "no" for an answer. Her desire to give back has her making over 200 cakes for community foster children to enjoy having a real birthday cake. At 66, she is the first to say, you are never too old to make a difference!


Follow Jera's Heavenly Sweet at:

Website –

Instagram – @jheavenly_sweet

Facebook – jerasheavenlysweet

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