Niya (Evans) Bolden thanks family, friends and town officials for their support at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Main Street.

“This has been a dream of mine for a long, long time,” said Niya (Evans) Bolden, at the grand opening of her bakery in Clayton Saturday.

She thanked family, friends and town officials who gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Kee’s Cookies & Cupcakes on Main Street, near Railroad Avenue.

Clayton Mayor Dave Letterman said businesses like the bakery are a boost to the town.

“We have wanted more businesses to come to the Town of Clayton for a long time, and yours is a welcome addition,” he said. “We’re glad to have you and wish you all the best.”

Before opening her shop in Clayton several months ago, Bolden had been building the business from her home, selling items at farmers’ markets and festivals and taking special orders.

Born and raised in Clayton, she graduated from Smyrna High and now lives in Newark.

“When I would pass through Clayton, I kept looking at this building and finally I decided to open my business here,” she said. “It’s great to be back home.”

The name “Kee” comes from her middle name, “Kyvette,” and from her Godmother Sandra Wanamaker who called her “Kee” for short.

She sells a wide variety of cupcakes from banana pudding to red velvet along with more traditional flavors, including gluten-free items. A popular choice for birthdays and celebrations are her “cupcake cakes” which look like more formal cakes but can easily be separated into single-serving sizes. Also available are cookies like chocolate chip and oatmeal, and parfaits in several fruit flavors.

Many items are ready for sale in the store, but they can also be ordered in advance.

Her family and friends are helping her with sales at the store, but she still does all the baking which she described as her “peace.”

“It’s my safe haven,” she said. “If I’m having a bad day, I can create something and it makes me feel good, and it makes me feel good when people like what I create.”