Truesdale bakery saved with new owner, community support

By: Adam Rollins, Staff Writer
Posted 12/8/20

The beloved bakery at the corner of Pinckney Road and Highway M in Truesdale will reopen under new ownership after the business was closed earlier this year, with some fearing the bakery was gone …

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Truesdale bakery saved with new owner, community support

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The beloved bakery at the corner of Pinckney Road and Highway M in Truesdale will reopen under new ownership after the business was closed earlier this year, with some fearing the bakery was gone forever.

Home Town Bakery owner Kirk Wiltshire quietly acted to close the business for good in the fall, selling nearly all the bakery’s equipment and furnishings. For regular customers, it looked like the end of a business that was a cherished part of the community for more than a decade.

Enter former employee Olivia Clancy, who plans to reopen the bakery in January with the help of local financers and guidance from area business owners. It will now be known as Olive’s Bakery, and will offer pastries, breakfast and lunch.

Clancy, who is 23 years old, worked at Home Town Bakery for three years, and graduated culinary school in 2016. She said it’s been one of her dreams to own her own bakery.

“I never thought it would actually happen,” Clancy commented. She said Wiltshire made the decision to retire in the summer, and she was faced with the question of whether she was up to the challenge of running the bakery. 

With the encouragement of her parents, who own a business in Wentzville, Clancy in July began the process of planning and seeking financing to make the bakery her own.

Clancy hopes to have the bakery reopened by Jan. 12, but there’s an intimidating task ahead of her. Nearly every piece of equipment or furniture that wasn’t built into the walls was sold, meaning she has to get the bakery restarted almost from scratch. 

Cases, cabinets, giant batter mixers, fryer, oven and furniture are all on order. Whether they make it in for installation on time is an open question.

“Because of COVID right now, shipping is a little out of whack. It’s not easy — I can’t order all my stuff off Amazon and get it primed to me,” Clancy commented.

When she does reopen, Clancy said she’s working to rehire as many of the bakery’s half-dozen former employees as she can. For the first couple weeks, she expects to have all hands on deck as enthusiastic customers come back.

“People are really excited, which is great. People were like, ‘Oh my God, we can’t wait to come,’” she commented. “I was definitely a little worried at first. I knew we had loyal customers, but to see  that many people share, like and comment (on social media) ... I was super excited.”

To make the new bakery possible, Clancy got two major pieces of help: business mentors, and new business financing.

Local business people Brian Gleize, Cindy Burke, Katie Gorman and Steve Brookman had a hand in helping to plan for financing, legal requirements, and sourcing supplies for a restaurant.

“Olivia is not somebody who just says ‘Oh, I want to start a bakery.’ (She has) experience and training, and a desire to excel in the food industry” commented Gleize, a relative of Clancy, during a meeting with Truesdale’s mayor and aldermen.

To finance the bakery, Clancy received assistance through Boonslick Regional Planning Commission’s revolving loan fund, which partners with local banks to assist new and growing businesses.

JoAnn Toerper, with Boonslick, said the support Clancy received from other local business mentors has started her off on the path to success.

“With (Clancy’s) energy, and her commitment to the community, as well as the backing and support she has from local businesses and her family,  I really think they’re going to be successful,” Toerper commented. “It’s really heartwarming to see the community come together to help.”

Olive's Bakery, Home Town Bakery

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