The Ye Old Corner Bakery in Knightstown has been a fixture in the Henry County community for more than 60 years. In January, the farm-to-table eatery changed hands, but ownership did not go outside the family.
Jared and Keith Owen purchased the downtown bakery from their sister, Lauren, who struggled running the business during the economic meltdown of the pandemic.
“She ended up buying it on March 1, right before the pandemic started,” Keith Owen, new co-owner of the bakery, told Around INdiana reporter Mary-Rachel Redman.
Owen says the bakery lost employees during the pandemic, but his sister was determined to keep the doors open on the hometown eatery.
“She was making the donuts. She was cooking during service and she was serving everyone. She was working 90 hours a week just to try to keep it open,” said Owen.
But the backbreaking hours as solo owner and operator of the bakery began to take a toll.
“She called us one day and said, ‘I can’t do it anymore. Can you guys can guys help me out?’” remembered Keith Owen.
Just after Christmas, Lauren signed the bakery over to her brothers and they embarked on a new business venture neither had envisioned.
With the business under new management, Keith Owen has been operating the bakery during the day, while brother Jared works nights making the donuts and other baked goods.
“It takes about six hours to make donuts. The goal is to be here by seven o’clock and if I can leave by 12:30 or one o’clock in the morning, that’s ideal,” said Jared Owen.
When it comes to the business, each brother knows their strengths. When Jared is not making donuts, he’s vice president of operations for Anderson Motor Speedway.
“I’m a numbers person. I can tell you this week was really good, this week was not good,” explained Jared. “Keith knows the pulse of the people. He kept telling me our regulars are starting to multiply where it was 10 a morning, now we’re getting 20, now you’re getting 30. The words getting out and it’s only skyrocketed.”
The Owens say owning a bakery was never part of their original plans, but both say they are grateful to their older sister for the unexpected opportunity.