UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio (WCMH) — A central Ohio business received a sweet gift from a customer who wanted to help them stay afloat during these difficult economic times.
The Original Goodie Shop has been open for nearly 70 years and owned by the same family since the late 60s. Like many small businesses, margins are tight and with Ohio’s stay-at-home order in place, business has deflated like a soufflé.
One customer who has been coming to the store for decades wanted to support his favorite sweet shop. He called to order his favorite pastry, a chocolate-covered, custard-filled pastry, and offered to pay $1,000 for what would normally cost him $1.50.
“I couldn’t talk. I teared up,” said manager Emilie Smith. “Since I wasn’t talking, he was like, ‘Would that be OK?’ and all I could get out was a ‘yes, of course, that would be OK.’”
The $1,000 is equivalent to ordering two weeks’ worth of ingredients, said Smith, whose mother inherited the bakery from her grandfather, who bought it in 1967.
The unidentified customer said he was getting money from the federal government and this is how he wanted to use it.
Smith said the donation was deeply appreciated and will help the bakery continue to bring smiles to the faces of others.
The shop’s Easter business was cut in half this year, Smith said, and they rely on that revenue to see them through November and December for payroll and ingredient purchases.
With margins already incredibly close because of their small business status, the bakery had to quickly figure out how to continue to operate when the state shut down.
Employees began to brainstorm ideas to help make sure their staff and customers could not only continue to work and get the sweets they wanted, but also stay safe in the process.
The lobby of the bakery has closed, and the business has switched to customer orders by phone and purchase pickups.
The bakery is also looking for ways to engage with customers, so it has put together decorating kits to be taken home and shared. Parents can decorate cookies or donuts with their kids, for instance.
Smith said people who have the financial means could really be guardian angels to other small businesses like hers in central Ohio.
“I would say support as much as you can, even if you’re ordering it for families, friends, neighbors,” she said. “Support any business that you’re passionate about right now, especially small business, because they do, like you said, kind of have a small margin to work with to start with.”