Lyndsey and Joe are the owners of Josey Baking Co. They’ve been in business for less than a year and have grown from just being them two, to one full-time and four par-time employees. Earlier this year, they wanted to help out the family of a local girl who passed away from cancer, so they opened their store on a Monday and sold cookies with 100 percent of the profit going to the family. People from all over the city rallied and they sold over 6500 cookies that day. They also regularly feature the work of local artists at their establishment at no charge or commission on a first-come, first-served basis.
Joe has been in the restaurant business for over a decade and Lyndsey attended the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon.
[This is my first time interviewing two people at once for Kansas Young, so I’m separating the story in parts to make it easier for you guys to follow along.]
Lyndsey: “I went to culinary school and then kind of traveled around and then went to Sonoma, California and I helped run a bakery there and I got really burned out. I had no life outside of that place. After that, I didn’t have any desire to make another pastry ever again, so I moved back here and ended up working at a bar where we met. Then we lived together just three blocks away from here and we’d always go on walks and say, ‘Man, this place is so charming’ and at the time there were many open spots and we thought this would be a great location for a bakery. And we kept talking about it and Joe’s so resourceful; he was able to get all of this equipment little by little. He would look online at equipment auctions. Everything that we bought was used. We just bought it little by little, had it all stacked up and then one day we decided to pull the trigger.
Joe: “We had a little six port mixer in the kitchen, which we still use daily, but that was how we were going to run this bakery. We thought, ‘How busy could we be?’ As long as we made enough to keep the lights on and pay the bills, I could work full-time outside of here and Lyndsey could run the bakery by herself with this little mixer and a residential oven. So we were open for the plaza glow last year and all we did was sell cookies and we were so crazy busy that we decided that maybe we needed a commercial oven. And we also went from a six port to a 20-port and at the time we couldn’t afford it, but we had to get it in order to grow and keep up with demand. And eventually even that wasn’t enough, so we tripled the size of the mixer we use every day. We couldn’t have imagined this even in our wildest dreams. We’ve grown so fast that it’s still hard to comprehend. We’ve made this far, but I didn’t know if we were going to make it a month when first opened.”