Editor’s note: On Friday, March 17, FOX21 News was sent an updated link from CSPD in regards to the screening form and ‘Report Intake Questionnaire’ in relation to Sweet Addict Bakery for potential victims of fraud to report through.
UPDATE: FRIDAY 3/17/2023 11:55 a.m.
(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Sweet Addict Bakery, which is now under investigation by CSPD’s Financial Crimes Unit for allegations of fraud, announced on Friday, March 17 that the storefront would be closing.
The brief press release was sent to FOX21 News on Friday just before Noon. The full statement can be read below.
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce that we are closing the storefront. While I had the best intentions to keep moving forward despite all the hardships and setbacks we’ve experienced as of late – I’m tired. For the sake of my mental health and the well-being of my family, I need to step back. All upcoming classes are canceled and any outstanding credits will be promptly refunded if they haven’t been already,” the statement read.
FOX21 News has reached out to Sweet Addict Bakery’s Owner, Deidre Peak, through email and phone for comment on both the CSPD investigation and vendor allegations, and has not heard back, as of Friday.
ORIGINIAL STORY: CSPD investigating allegations of fraud at Sweet Addict Bakery in Colorado Springs
THURSDAY 3/16/2023 3:58 p.m.
“Sweet Addict Bakery is now permanently closed,” read a bright pink sign outside the previous storefront on Stetson Hills Boulevard. The business and its owner, Deidre Peak, are now part of an investigation by the Colorado Springs Police Department’s (CSPD) Financial Crimes Unit, which is looking into allegations of fraud at Sweet Addict Bakery.
FOX21 News reached out to CSPD for comment on the ongoing investigation, and Public Information Officer (PIO) Robert Tornabene stated that its investigators are currently looking into a series of complaints. “One of our investigators has created a screening form to determine if an individual’s case is civil or potentially criminal.”
The form can be found here and includes a ‘Report Intake Questionnaire,’ for potential victims of fraud that are related to the ongoing investigation, and requests supporting documentation to be sent to CCI Chase, CFE, with CSPD’s Financial Crimes Unit.
The same investigator was included on a sign posted outside Sweet Addict Bakery.
Tornabene stated that CSPD could not share any case reports with FOX21 as they are part of a “potential broader investigation.”
A former vendor of Crafted Colorado, the sister store of Sweet Addict Bakery, reached out to FOX21 News to share her story and frustrations with the abrupt closure of both locations.
“It wasn’t until I found out after I put my stuff in there, that Crafted Colorado wasn’t open, like there was just, the doors were locked, even on days that it was supposed to be open,” said Laura Zuzio, Owner of Sweets & Treats.
Zuzio said she signed a contract in January to rent space inside Crafted Colorado, along with her husband, the Owner of Colorado Woodworks. “We were able to get our stuff out last week, one of the other vendors that I speak to, her husband was able to get in, so he got all three of our stuff out of Crafted.”
Zuzio said at Crafted Colorado she was selling mason jars full of cookie mixes and said three of her mason jars remain unaccounted for, and she also hasn’t received payment for two others.
“I think my biggest frustration right now is the fact that one, I didn’t get paid for what I made, granted it’s only $30, but it’s still my profit, it’s still my product, and the fact that I am missing product that I made as well,” said Zuzio.
Zuzio said although her husband was able to get all of his product back, she is still concerned for others just like her.
“The story needs to get out because I know that there are a lot of customers that are kind of blindsided by the whole situation and don’t want to believe it, but I mean, there have been so many vendors and customers that are affected by this, that I think everyone needs to finally see what goes on behind closed doors with Deidre.”
FOX21 first reached out to Peak through a previous email on file Monday afternoon, March 13 for comment, to which we received no response. An email was also sent to a general contact address on Sweet Addict Bakery’s website, to which FOX21 received this automatic response:
“Hi there! Thank you for reaching out – due to a family emergency, we are going to take a step away from the baking world for the time being. Any upcoming classes have been canceled. If you have an outstanding credit with us, we are in the process of refunding those. I apologize for any inconvenience and disappointment this may cause. This is my passion and I want to take a step back while I still enjoy it. Thank you for supporting our dream of sharing delicious desserts together!”
FOX21 also attempted reaching out to Peak on Tuesday afternoon, March 14, and left a detailed voicemail. Our phone call and voicemail to Peak remain unanswered.
“I’m a huge supporter of small businesses, just for the reason of me being a small business, and the only thing that I could possibly say is that I really think that it is time for her to stop running all businesses completely,” said Zuzio.
On February 23, a Sweet Addict Bakery press release was sent to FOX21 which stated in part, “In case you hadn’t heard – we’ve moved out of our Stetson Hills location after 15 months of struggles with the plumbing and electrical.”
The release then went on to state that Sweet Addict Bakery would be moving into 327 North Tejon Street [Crafted Colorado], after a prospective space it was set to move into fell through due to a “non-compete clause with another major bakery in town.”
Also included, was a statement that read: “We are still up and running to take orders in addition to private events. We will be ready to continue with regularly scheduled cooking classes as well as our make-ups from the move debacle starting March 1st.”
As for Zuzio, she said her plans for the future are uncertain, though, come April, she will be getting a food truck. In the meantime though, Zuzio said she will continue her small business at home.
“…It’s a little discouraging, I honestly don’t trust to sell in another storefront, unless I had my own at this point.”
To learn more about Zuzio and her business, Sweets & Treats, go to her Facebook page.
FOX21 News will continue to update this article as this story develops.