MEMPHIS, Tenn. — If the smell of fresh-baked goods doesn’t draw you into Lucy J’s Bakery, the sweet welcome will.
The bakery’s now open in the Crosstown Concourse after upgrading to a storefront from a kiosk.
They offer everything from bread and pies to cookies and cakes.
“We have the best fresh-baked croissants in Memphis right now, every day. We have butter, chocolate and cinnamon sugar,” said Tracy Burgess.
Burgess opened the bakery with her husband.
Her joy’s in the decorating, while his is baking.
“Our dream was to open a bakery.”
But not just any bakery— one connected to another passion of theirs: The Dorothy Day House.
“Our family started to volunteer there in 2012 and we really just became more and more involved.”
The organization takes in homeless families in Memphis, meaning parents and children together, as they work to get back on their feet.
“Our roles are very hands-on with the families who live there and have lived there in the past.”
So those are the people they looked at when it came time to hire, starting with Daria Meeks.
She moved into the Dorothy Day House in 2014 with her 9-year-old daughter and gave birth to her son while there.
“They gave me a different outlook on life. They taught me a lot and I gained all my knowledge and I just ran for it,” said Meeks.
After leaving the shelter, she worked at a fast-food restaurant making minimum wage until this opportunity came along.
“We’re just ready. I love it.”
What she also loves: Lucy J’s advocates for a living wage.
They’ve committed to paying employees $15 an hour and providing a health plan.
Meeks says it’s helped her create a better life for her kids.
“I love it. It’s comfortable. I don’t have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from, who’s going to put clothes on their back, I can do it. I budget and I can do it.”
She says every treat is a reminder, anyone else can do it too.
Lucy J’s grand opening is this Saturday.
They’ll be open M-F 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Crosstown Concourse, on Watkins near North Parkway.
The bakery’s also teamed up with Ugly Mug Coffee. Their coffee inside is “Pay what you can” with all proceeds benefiting the Dorothy Day House.
For more information, go here.