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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Good Samaritan CEO Rescues Gluten-free Bakery

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Celiac.com 03/08/2013 - Gluten-free foodies in the Chicago/Evanston area were faced with the closure of one of their best gluten-free bakeries, until a good samaritan stepped forward with a business plan and a check.

    CC--Rachel from Cupcakes Take the CakeThis past Christmas looked bleak for Rose O'Carroll. The owner of Rose's Wheat Free Bakery and Cafe in Evanston, Illinois was slated to close her doors in the face of a $100,000 debt, until she struck a last minute deal with Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis to keep open the struggling business.

    O'Carroll first met Lemonis a year and a half ago, when he began eating gluten-free by choice. After learning through a news article about the bakery's financial troubles, Lemonis contacted O'Carroll and pledged to help out.

    O'Carroll has said that the bakery's financial troubles are due mainly to high labor costs necessary to produce high-quality gluten-free products.

    After talking with O'Carroll, Lemonis realized that some easy and fast fixes can make the bakery profitable. One of them is new equipment that will speed production of the bakery's most popular items.

    Lemonis says he doesn't believe in "making money by cutting jobs." Rather, he says he believes in "making money by increasing sales." With that in mind, he has written a check for $200,000 and established a working capital fund of about $150,000. He emphasizes that every worker will remain on the job.

    Lemonis calls O'Carroll the epitome of a great baker and a great mind when it comes to baking, though, he adds, she may not have the best business acumen.

    The rescue of Rose's Wheat Free Bakery and Cafe is not Lemonis' first brush with chartable business efforts.

    As head of the world's largest RV owners association, Lemonis has appeared on "Secret Millionaire," the ABC show in which business executives provide surprise financial help to struggling communities. He has also appeared on Donald Trump's show, "Celebrity Apprentice."

    Additionally, Lemonis recently purchased In the Raw, a gluten-free restaurant in Highland Park.


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    That man is terrific! May GOD bless him. Even though I live several hours away and will probably never see that bakery, I am grateful for his tender heart, huge generosity, and willingness to give and encourage.

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    What a wonderful story. Every time I am in Evanston, I stop by Rose's Bakery. My daughter found it on the Internet and I have been going there ever since. I have celiac disease. I have always wanted to open a bakery to serve people like me. So happy someone stepped forward to help Rose out!

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    This is awesome. Thank you for saving the facility and the jobs which are so important. Thank you for believing in America and its people. Keep our dollars here... eat locally and support your local family businesses.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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