Business Owner Believes There is No Reason to Make Excuses
Channahon resident Kellen Walker was not sidelined by what might have been a reason to quit for anyone else.
Kellen Walker always knew he wanted to be a business owner.
"I went to college to be a business owner," he said. "I knew that's what I wanted to do."
That dream arrived with its own challenge when he was 21. Walker was diagnosed with an Arteriovenous Malformation, which cause his first seizure and set him on the path to multiple surgeries. An Arteriovenous Malformation or AVM means that blood vessels in the brain divert blood from the arteries to the veins. If you meet Walker today, and shake his hand, you know immediately that he has epilepsy. That's because instead of wearing a medical bracelet or necklace, both he would hate wearing, he chose to tattoo the medical symbol and the word epilepsy on his wrist. After he did it, he found in a lot of ways it was better that a bracelet or necklace.
"The paramedics said we went right for your pulse and we saw it right away," he said.
He now wants to encourage people to do the same.
Walker and his family own EnJoi Bakery and Cafe, in downtown Morris.
Walker does not drive. So, he had to own the kind of business where he could stay in the same place all day. Luckily, EnJoi is a family operation - owned by Kellen, his mom Joi, wife Michelle and dad James. It is Joi who does much of the baking. And she is baking from recipes that are three or more generations old.
EnJoi's location in Morris (the Channahon location closed in September 2010) has up to 15 flavors of cake balls. And, Kellen said the bakery was making them long before their popularity was a phenomenon.
"We started cake balls before I even knew of everyone else doing it," he said.
He was in the kitchen one day and they had been making custom cakes, which requires trimming the cake after it has been baked so it has the perfect shape.
"There was a whole trash can of cake," he said.
Not wanting to waste food, he and another person brainstormed what could be done with that cake in the future. They mixed it with frosting, dipped it in chocolate and the cake ball was born.
Walker does not believe that his medical challenges have negatively affected his life, mostly because he will not allow them to.
"I don't like people making excuses," he said. "You've just got to stay positive."
Business is thriving
Enjoi began in Channahon. The family opened a second location in Morris in 2010 and it was much more successful. The family made a decision to concentrate on one very successful location.
Just down Main Street in Morris is a second business that began in Channahon and moved to Morris. Still Stylin' is owned by someone with whom Walker graduated high school. Both attended Minooka Community High School. Patch will do a story on Still Stylin' next week.