The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 19, 2014

Jo Ellis: Kate’s doing comeback business on square

CARTHAGE, Mo. — What’s for dinner? And, more importantly (for me), what’s for dessert?

The answer to both often-asked questions can be found at Kate’s, a bakery and catering service that opened last month at 100 E. Fourth St., on the southwest corner of the Carthage square.

Kate Gilpin, the owner, should be called the “Comeback Kid,” because this is her third venture into the baking and catering business. Several years ago, she opened a tearoom in the Southtown shopping center. She was open for only six months when an illness struck her husband, Jerry. She closed the tearoom to become a full-time caretaker through a long recovery period.

For years before her tearoom venture, she and Jerry owned Carthage Jewelers in the same location on the square. They make their home in the back portion of their business building.

Last year, with Jerry’s health fully returned to normal, she opened her bakery in the back of a business building across the street, but without a storefront to present her wares, business was intermittent at best.

Visibility is no longer a problem. Kate has commandeered one side of their building, and the large front windows that used to hold displays of sparkling jewelry and watches now hold cake stands with elaborately decorated cakes and plates of “Kate’s cuties,” her signature miniature cupcakes.

Visitors around the square can stand outside and view all of the baking steps or watch as she assembles one of her 18 varieties of soup and 11 casseroles. A customer favorite is her chicken enchilada casserole. These dishes are available on an alternating basis, either soup or casserole, every Monday. If any are left over, she freezes them, so if you miss out on Monday, there might be a possibility of purchasing them on another weekday.

While the kitchen is small, it is well-organized, containing the requisite sinks, full-size oven and stove, microwave, refrigerator/freezer, storage cabinets and even a marble-topped table for making her baked goods and confectioneries. “It’s a tight space,” Kate said, “but it works for me.”

Kate is excited about other new openings around the square. Citing a list, she said, “We’re getting more retail shops, and it’s bringing people back to the square.”

Jerry has reopened his jewelry and repair service on the other side of their building where he repairs jewelry, installs watch batteries, and has a small inventory of jewelry and watches. Their next effort will be to renovate his side of the business.

Both shops are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. They are closed every Wednesday and Sunday, and open by choice or appointment on Saturdays. Look for them on Facebook or their website,

Kate is looking forward to the next three months. She will be making her Valentine’s Day confections, including chocolate-covered cherries, chocolate-dipped strawberries and valentine boxes of her fanciful, decorated “cuties.” In April, she will offer chocolate-covered Easter eggs in 10 flavors.

ADDRESS CORRESPONDENCE to Jo Ellis, c/o The Joplin Globe, Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802 or email

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