Debbie Smith | The Original Goodie Shop
As a child, Debbie Smith loved going to work with her dad, James Krenek, at his bakery in Upper Arlington. He had bought the Tremont Goodie Shop in the late 1960s.
"He would tell me I had to take a nap first," Smith recalled. "His shift started at midnight."
Smith would spend a few hours helping him measure and mix before going to sleep in the car. On many occasions, the father and daughter would head over to the Chef-O-Nette diner for breakfast after the sun came up.
Years later, Smith's children also grew up in the bakery. When her daughters were infants, their grandfather would weigh them on the bakery scales every time she brought them into the shop. When her dad retired, Smith took over the bakery and ran it for many years.
In 2006, Smith stepped down and her sister, Doraine Cooper, and her husband, Paul, took over the business. When the recession hit, the Coopers fell behind on their bills and filed for bankruptcy. They closed the bakery in September 2009.
Smith decided to give it another go and reopened the business under the name The Original Goodie Shop a month later. The community and former employees rallied around her and were instrumental in the reopening, Smith said.
"It was amazing how the community pulled together," she said. "People were purchasing things at the auction and giving them back to me. The store was just The Little Engine That Could."
-Melissa Kossler Dutton
How important is the community to the continued success of your business?
This community is wonderful. I just love it. The people are supporting us because they know what can happen if you don't support a small business. Our customers are loyal and they make the trip in.
Your daughters work with you. Emilie (Smith) manages the shop and Miranda (Smith) decorates cakes. What's it like running a family business with your children?
It's awesome. I get to see my girls. I have a relationship with my daughters like no other. It's their livelihood, and I want to see it continue. We recently met with a business consultant and developed a roadmap to follow to grow the business.
Customers come in year after year for birthday or anniversary cakes. What does it mean to be a part of so many people's family traditions?
It's heartwarming to hear how much these products are part of their traditions. I can't think of any other business where they would say that.
What is your bestknown goodie?
We do a lot of decorated cutout cookies. A lot of smiley faces. And the cinnamon sticks. Nowhere else makes them. It's kind of a secret recipe that I'll never give out. We ship those nationally. We sold more than 80,000 last year.
You also decorate buckeyes. How did that start?
That was one of my cake and cookie decorators. She started making OSU buckeyes with scarlet and gray tams. It just grew from that. We do buckeyes for the Kentucky Derby, Halloween and Christmas. We always have something unique.