Joni McGary here, Owner of LuckyGuy Bakery.
I have bittersweet news, but it’s not about chocolate. Over the next two weeks, LuckyGuy Bakery is closing up our online shop, and our oven doors. We’ve had a great run over the last six years; however, after much consideration, I realized that I’ve taken the endeavor as far as I want to take it and it is time for a new chapter.
More on that in a moment, but first things first.
Secure your stash now!
We will be taking online orders until midnight October 19th. Hop on over to our website now to secure your brownie stash, or send out some very early holiday presents. (We all know the mail is going to be slow as molasses in January this December, so why not get ahead of it?)
As always, we’ll wrap up your gifts with great care, handwrite your gift card, and send your treats on their way (perhaps with a few tears).
Hurry, though. Once these treats are sold out, you’re out of luck.
And now, a bit of a farewell:
LuckyGuy Bakery was officially launched in May of 2015 after I had baked and gifted cookies and brownies for family and friends under that “brand” for years. I was able start a food business very easily thanks to the vision and generosity of Jeff Mease and Lenny Busch, owners and founders of One World Enterprises, Pizza X, Lennie’s restaurant and Hive restaurant in Bloomington, Ind. At the time, they were renting out their relatively small commissary space “after hours” to startups like LuckyGuy. Elbow to elbow, several food entrepreneurs crowded into the space in the evenings, sharing resources, laughs and experience. Within a year, we’d moved to a big new facility (thank you, One World!) where I was able to scale our production and set about growing the business.
LuckyGuy moved easily into the wholesale space thanks to the Bloomington community being enthusiastic about local brands. A special thanks to Hopscotch Coffee and owners Jane Kuppersmith and Jeff Grant for being our very first wholesale customer, and to everyone at Bloomingfoods Co-op for giving us our first grocery store home. From there, we expanded quickly to other regional coffee shops, grocery stores, and museums. Our online shop followed and we soon developed a thriving mail-order gifting business. It’s been a joy to be able to share our products with people all over the country and to feel like we’ve made real connection with our customers. I truly feel honored to be a tiny part of many of your stories. Our treats have been sent to celebrate birthdays, weddings, and achievements. They have been sent to express support and condolences. With every gift note my staff and I wrote by hand, we felt we got to know you a little. I’m very grateful for that connection.
LuckyGuy Bakery has indeed been very lucky when it comes to publicity. We were featured in the food section of the Herald Times by Cindy Bradley, who was so generous to us. We were invited by Elizabeth Mayhew to be featured on a Today Show segment in 2018 – what an amazing experience that was (when she called, I thought it was a prank!) Yelp included us in their Top Five Bakeries in Indiana list. WISH-TV hosted us twice on Indy Style. Caroline Dowd-Higgins featured me on her Thrive! series. Inside Indiana Business had us on, and WFIU’s Earth Eats did a feature our business. We had a nice shout-out in Midwest Living magazine, too.
I’m proud of how this business has developed and grown, and I’m grateful for the opportunity it provided to give back to our community. I’m proud that we were an employer, a customer of other small businesses that sell ingredients and packaging supplies, a rent-paying tenant, and a tax-paying company. It is gratifying to know that in our small way, we were an economic engine. I’m also proud that whenever possible, we donated our goods for local charitable causes.
And now for some thank you’s:
Jay Burton of One World Enterprises for always being at the ready to make anything and everything possible.
Kassidy Kalberer and Jessica Resler for being superlative employees and friends, and the absolute backbone of our operations.
Lauren Bryant for tireless support and friendship.
Emily Moody of Superfine Design for brilliant graphic design that brought Felix D. Bunny to life.
Matt Collins for recommending Emily Moody and for putting the finishing touches on our plucky peg-legged bunny.
Ellie Bernstein for naming our mascot.
Zach Mayhew for wise counsel and for keeping my books in shape.
Chris Gargiulo for building our first online store.
Kevin Kautzman for building our current online store, and for taking care of it for us, day and night.
The community at the Bloomington Body Bar, who served as tasters for varieties in development and who cheered the business on.
Dave Ferguson and the folks at Ferguson Law for providing legal counsel.
Tracy Gates for all sorts of guidance on how to scale a baking business.
Mohammed M. Mahdi, Anthony Duncan and Mohammed A. Mahdi of The Mad Optimist for their entrepreneurial and technical wisdom.
Arthur Levy for sound business advice.
Clay Peterson of the May Agency for being a great insurance agent.
Lastly and most importantly, profound thanks to my husband Chris McGary and our children Katelyn Shipper, Megan Rayl and Jack McGary. There is not enough room here to even begin to express my gratitude and love.