The logo of Cathy Wyatt’s business is a bright sun, which is perfectly fitting with her outgoing and sunny personality.
Wyatt is the founder and owner of Carpe Diem Coffee Shop at 215 Market Avenue N, which has become a magnet for coffee and tea aficionados and is one of downtown Canton’s most successful businesses.
“In early 2003, my husband and I would visit the now Northmark Building while under renovation,” Wyatt said. “Every time we walked through, I would tell (owner) Steve Coon that the first-floor space would be ideal for a coffee shop. Patrick (Wyatt’s husband) even called Starbucks to see if they would be interested. After about the third or fourth time I insisted about installing a cafe, Steve told me if I wanted it so bad that I should just do it. Ten weeks later, we were open. This November 1, we will mark our 15th year.”
Born and raised in Uniontown, Wyatt is a graduate of Lake High School and attended Kent State University. She and her husband, Patrick, have been married since 1982. The couple has two children, daughter Erin, who is married and expecting the couple’s first grandchild, and son Sean.
Prior to opening the coffee shop, Wyatt owned Carpe Diem Decorating for 15 years. She also is deeply involved in the community, previously serving as chair of the Pro Football Hall of Fame race, and as board president for The Canton Palace Theatre. She also spearheaded the Women’s Impact Organization for Community Services.
“The most challenging aspect of running Carpe Diem is trying to work on my business while working in my business,” she said. “It’s no longer good enough to have a great product and customer service; you have to be a media mogul, constantly updating all the social outlets, staying up-to-date on all the new coffee trends. It sounds like it would be easy, but it is definitely time- and energy-consuming.”
The best part?
“By far, the best part of owning my business is my customers,” Wyatt said. “I have met so many interesting, inspiring, successful and wonderful people—some of whom have become our dear, close friends. The opportunity to be a very small part of someone’s day and life is something I don’t take lightly.
“If I can somehow lighten their load or be a calming part of their hectic schedule, I consider it a privilege.”
Most Admired CEO or Business Owner:
“I am fortunate enough to know a lot of business owners and can appreciate the risks they have taken. I am going off the list of usual suspects and choosing Jenny Coon. Her husband gets the press, but Jenny not only keeps track of several businesses (Great Lakes Restoration and Northmark Properties to name two), but manages their rental properties, takes care of her mother, children, grandchildren and Steve—I am not sure, but the last one is probably the hardest! She is also whip-smart, even-tempered, kind and funny—the whole package.”
“I can’t possibly pick only three restaurants. Living downtown lets us eat some of the best food around! Bender’s Tavern for fish; Lucca for pasta; Fronimo’s for lamb; Basil for sushi; Canton Brewing Co. for pizza; the Conestoga Grill for burgers; Deli Ohio for a BLT; Thatsa Wrapp for loaded chips.”
Favorite Spot to Work Out:
“Downtown YMCA and walking at Monument Park.”
Favorite lunch spot:
“Heggy’s is my favorite lunch spot—who doesn’t love a hometown institution that serves awesome cheeseburgers, “Double Butter” french fries and Carpe Crema ice cream?”
Favorite Indoor Activity:
“Working the Sunday crossword puzzle in The Repository while overlooking downtown and drinking my morning coffee that my husband has made just for ME.”