Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
By: Natalie Vaughan
Jodi Allen had a nightmare.
Prior to the opening of Iced, bakery owner Jodi Allen had a nightmare that no one showed up to the grand opening of Iced. Little to her knowledge, on opening day her shelves would be completely cleared and all pastries sold out!
Iced Bakery opened three years ago this June and has been completely successful since. With a variety of options, such as pastries, salads, soups, and sandwiches, Allen has managed to keep a strong customer basis.
With a new menu everyday and a constant change of recipes, you never know what you’re going to get when walking into Iced. Allen believes that her continuously changing menu is what keeps a large portion of the customers coming back.
“My customers are my family,” says Allen.
Customers come from all over, including a loyal customer from Iowa, to eat at Iced. With many customers coming from other cities, Allen is looking to expand to more communities. With the help of Allen’s daughters, she is looking to expand to either Taylorville, Effingham, or Springfield.
Iced is a family oriented business. Allen’s three daughters help her tremendously. Mikailah, 24, designed the logo for the restaurant and helps in the store. Mykennah, 19, bakes and decorates cakes during the summer. Kearah, 16, works in the store with Allen.
Despite the support from many family members, there was one family member who was not an avid supporter of Allen opening her own business. Bob Boarman, 73, previous owner of Boarman’s Auto Sales and Services, did not approve of Allen opening up her own business. He believed that it would cause a loss of money instead of profit.
“It hurts that I didn’t have his support but it made me more motivated to be successful,” says Allen.
Allen proved to be plenty successful. On the opening day of Iced, Jodi had prepared hundreds of variety of pastries. With a line out the door, all it took was two hours for all the pastries to be sold out and for Allen and her family to be in the back preparing more.
Although Allen has had rapid success her father has stood ground and has yet to eat at Iced bakery.
Even with the reluctance of her father, Allen still gives her him credit for some of her success. She claims him to be where she gets her constant “go go go” work ethic from which has kept the bakery running smoothly to this day.
Allen and her family opened a successful business three years ago and with a few bumps along the way, plans to expand into further communities and build stronger relationships with customers.