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One woman's custom chicken coop business in Ohio explodes during pandemic

Coop
Posted at 5:51 PM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 17:51:58-04

GATES MILLS, Ohio — Don’t underestimate Kathy Vegh Hughes.

She’s a business owner, mom, and she keeps chickens.

“This is just like my happy place,” she said.

Kathy designed her own custom-made chicken coop. She likes to call it the Taj Mahal of coops. When she and her family moved to a suburb outside of Cleveland, they decided to get chickens. Their first coop didn’t work out so well.

“So I said to my husband, I’m done having an eyesore or our property, I’m done worrying about my chickens with predators and weather and all of that, so let’s build our own,” Kathy recalls.

That inspired her to take on a new project. Enter… Cutest Coops, Kathy’s custom-designed chicken coops.

“I’ve had people ask me can you make it look a little bit different like more Victorian,” she said, "and just recently, I had this really neat lady out of Arizona if we could make a coop out of stucco,”

Kathy has a very special assistant. Her daughter Olive.

“There is no doubt to inspire my little one. You know, she’s a girl, and I want her to see that a mom can do other things too,” said Kathy.

Like, run a growing business.

“If you look at revenue, we’re up like 400% from last year. What! It’s wild,” she said.

Maintaining that growth, keeping the chickens fed, and being a mom can be difficult. Kathy likes to balance it all.. while wearing heels.

“This side is tile, and I keep it super clean, and so I can wear whatever footwear I would like,”

With an exploding business, there are a lot of orders to be filled.

“It’s a half by half hardware mesh which is intended for just creating a good predator-proof surface,” said Andy Clark, one of the builders Kathy uses.

Andy runs what has been affectionately labeled Cooperstown, the shop that hand builds some of Kathy’s coops.

“All these individual wall panels will end up being broken down and packaged and ready to ship, so it can go as a discrete panel which is easy to put together by the homeowner,” said Andy.

Each coop is hand-cut, painted, and even branded. The guys in the shop put in as much effort as Kathy does.

And for her, there’s nothing else she’d rather do.

“I love chickens, I love my family, and I love my property,” said Kathy.