Written by William Bryant Rozier | Published in our All-Food Edition (Issue 12)
Kimora Lane is the food side of their catering business and Marie Sims is the confectioner. The two friends, who met when Lane was looking for a hair stylist (Sims) after moving to Fort Wayne from Buffalo, New York, merged their talents and their names to become KiMarie’s Kreations & Katering.
Both cooks impressed each other with their creativity. “I was sitting there watching Empire and eating her caramel corn,” Lane said about the snack that Sims had brought, “and I loved it.” This was two years ago.
Lane, who’s been catering professionally for 26 years, learned “off the cuff and over the shoulder,” she said, from her mother, grandmother, and her professional chef brother. She began catering in Fort Wayne when her pastor, first lady Minister Carla Jennings of Summit Church, asked her to replace a previous cook for an event.
Sims was appropriately surprised because she always thought of her caramel corn as a family (for-us only) recipe. Her older sister taught her how to make it. And 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 said.
Sims was equally surprised when she tried some of Lane’s dishes.
Lane’s signature is anything cooked with alfredo sauce. Sims’ specialty is anything with caramel. KiMarie’s, imbued the raw talents of its namesakes, offers a wide, creative variety of foods and desserts for any event, large or small.
“If somebody gave us a building today, gave us the resources to get all the things we wanted, we would be ready to roll,” Lane said. The two are actively looking for a physical storefront, somewhere in the central city.
The signature creation for KiMarie’s, the perfect marriage of their combined talents, are their chocolate raindrops, which are like something out of Willy Wonka (or Harry Potter for the younger kids not getting that reference). Their bacon raindrops are chocolate “drops” formed with bits of bacon. Their hot chocolate raindrops ($10 for an eight pack) are chocolate drops made with a spicy secret recipe.
(This Fort Wayne Ink Spot writer can attest to their dopeness and temperature.)
They rock other flavors too. And “yes, they are a trade secret, and no one can have our recipes,” Lane said. (She said it a second time louder into my digital recorder, to reverberate across time and space.)
Trade secret-ship is ownership. Everything from their presentation to their packaging, something that was outside of what they thought they could do and do well, reeks of authorship.
When Lane and Sims convinced its presumed biggest critic, Robin, Marie’s very honest sister, they knew they were onto something. “You’re talking about someone [in Robin] who’s almost done with law school so that alludes to her mindset. She thinks logically.”
Sister Robin said she would actually pay money for KiMarie’s creations, waving off that nice family discount that almost always translates to free. More measuring sticks and votes of confidence fueled the two’s self-confidence.
Once, they wanted to taste test their creations with an entrepreneur group at their yearly meeting. They explained their lateness with being fired up about their new business idea. They brought suckers, wrapped candies, caramel corn, and chocolate cups that look so good that people refuse to eat them because the pretty confection on display on a shelf serves a much better use. They brought their own version of chocolate/caramel confection they still haven’t named yet.
And, Sims said, “we became to believe [more] in the viability of the ideas.”
KiMarie’s Kreations & Katering | Kimora Lane: 260.750.8040 | Marie Sims: 260.710.6915